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French Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf blends sound and defies genre

French-Lebanese trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf performs in the street after a concert at the Grand Rex cinema and concert hall in Paris.
French-Lebanese trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf performs in the street after a concert at the Grand Rex cinema and concert hall in Paris.

When you think of famous jazz musicians, you may think of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Dizzy Gillespie. What connects these celebrated jazz musicians isn’t just their genre, but the instrument they play: the trumpet.

With its unique brassy sound, the trumpet is instantly recognizable in any song. And it’s not just used in jazz. French Lebanese trumpeter and composer Ibrahim Maalouf has become popular for his blended, genre-defying sound.

Maloof was nominated for a Grammy in 2023 for his album “Queen of Sheba” with Angelique Kidjo. He’s also the first jazz musician in history to sell out Paris’s largest concert hall, Bercy’s Accor Arena, in 2016.

We spoke with him earlier this year while he was on tour in the U.S.

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Haili Blassingame