Elie Maalouf, Pianist,Composer, Arranger & Buzuq player. Born in Zahlé, Lebanon in 1972, he starts his musical studies at the « Institut de Musique et d’Arts Techniques » in Beirut.
Since 1989, he’s been living and studying in France; first at the conservatory of Toulouse, then at the conservatory of Etampes, with the pianist Billy Eidi.
He afterwards studied jazz, composition and arrangement at the « American School of Modern Music » in Paris. He participated in jazz workshops with the vibraphonist David Patrois & master classes with great musicians as Clare Fisher, Gary Burton, Michel Petrucciani, John Fadis, Marc Levine and also studied modern harmony with Bernard Maury (founder of the Bill Evans Piano Academy). Elie Maalouf gave concerts in more than 30 countries, and prestigious Halls :
– France (Salle Gaveau, salle Pleyel, Maison de la Radio, Institut de France, Cité de la musique, New Morning & Sunside (jazz clubs), l’Européen, Chateau de Vincennes, Festival Touches de Jazz …)
– Italy (Teatro Reggio in Turino, Teatro Masini in Faenza)
– Belgium (Théâtre de la Monnaie in Bruxelles)
– Luxembourg (Echternach Festival)
– United Kingdom (Kensington Town Hall, in London)
– Holland, (Utrecht Festival)
– Morocco (Fes Festival, Tangier Festival)
– Lebanon (Assembly Hall in Beirut, les centres culturels français et allemand BMAF Festival)
– Turkey , (Bursa Jazz festival), Istanbul, Izmir
– Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Finland, Holland, Sweden, United States, Brazil, Mexico,Taiwan, Bahrain, Dubai, Koweit, Jordan, Congo, Muscat Oman, Abudhabi, Algeria, Tunisia …
In Paris, he played for a series of silent movies of the 20’s including a two hours long improvisation for “Loulou” a 1929 movie by Georg Wilhelm Pabst.
He gave lectures about jazz and oriental music in several countries. His collaboration with singer and buzuq player “Issa”, gave birth to three compact discs that mix traditional Kurdish music and personal compositions: Ballade Kurde à Séville, Tooting Broadway & So Bouzouk. His own Oriental Jazz Trio, with percussionist Adel Shams El Din and double bass player Emek Evci, came as a result of encounters with various cultures and gave him the opportunity to perform his own, matured compositions, besides musics from Lebanon, Turkey, Bosnia, Azerbaijan, Armenia etc.
This band became as well a starting point for meetings with musicians from a diversity of geographical and musical background : percussionists Youssef Hbeisch (with whom he recorded for a program of the National French Radio, “Extérieur nuit”), Joël Grare, Philippe Foch, Oud, Tambur and Ney player Haroun Teboul, Saxophonist, Accordion and Accordina players David Venitucci & Francis Jauvain,Trumpet player David Enhco, Trombone player Geoffroy De Masure…
Elie Maalouf is the pianist & conductor of the “Ensemble for Peace” with Sister Marie Keyrouz. He performs in her concerts all around the world leading the ensemble. He was as well the pianist and harmony arranger of her records “Hymnes à l’Espérance” & “Méditations de l’Orient” He accompanied & composed for author and singer Yvan Dautin with whom he recorded a live duo CD « Ne pense plus, dépense! ».
Since 2004, his band grew to become the “Elie Maalouf Quintet” ; it gathers Joshua Levitt (soprano saxophone and ney), Hubert Dupont (double bass), Elie Duris (drums ) and Youssef Hbeisch (oriental percussion).
In 2007 a record of his own compositions, “Through Life”, came out and was greatly acclaimed by the critics.
Besides piano, Elie plays and is interested in various percussions and types of lute (buzuk, tar, kopuz, dutar…) He collaborated with many luthiers and instrument makers to create special lutes from the Middle East. The “Parisian-Lebanese” pianist & composer is considered now one of the masters of this double-culture music of jazz- harmony & oriental music. He is asked to many stage & recording projects by the most famous artists around the Middle East: Sister Marie Keyrouz, Fadia Tomb el Hage, Abed Azrié, Ziad El Ahmadie, Samir Nasr Eddine, Lena Chamamyan, Samih Choukeir, Nida Ates, Jahida Wehbe, Yvonne El Hachem, Nova Emad, Manal Semaan… He wrote orchestral arrangements for the « Royal Opera House Muscat » In addition to creative activities as composer/arranger, he teaches jazz piano at the cultural center “l’Athénée” in Rueil-Malmaison & Savigny Sur Orge (Parisian area).