Cirque Royal

Sunday 20.05.12
Cirque Royal

Staff Benda Bilili - Ibrahim Maalouf


Cirque Medium



Staff Benda Bilili are a group of Congolese street musicians. They live around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, and play music which is rooted in rumba, with elements of old-school rhythm’n’blues and reggae. The core of the band consists of four senior singers/guitarist, who all disabled (they suffered from poliomyelitis when they were young) and move around in spectacularly customized tricycles. They are backed by a younger rhythm section consisting of ex-sheges, abandoned street kids who were taken under the protection of the older members of the band. The soloist is an 18 year-old boy who plays astounding electric guitar-like solos on a one-stringed lute he designed and built himself out of a tin can.

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Photo Staff Benda Bilili
Crammed Disc
Last album: 
Très Très Fort (2009)

Ibrahim Maalouf (Arabic: ابراهيم معلوف) is a trumpeter who is also a composer and arranger for trumpet. He also teaches trumpet. He was born on December 5, 1980 in Beirut, Lebanon, but now lives in France.
Ibrahim Maalouf is the son of trumpeter Nassim Maalouf and pianist Nada Maalouf, a nephew of the writer Amin Maalouf, and the grandson of journalist, poet and musicologist Rushdi Maalouf. He is currently the only trumpet player in the world to play Arabic music with the trumpet in fourth tones, which his father invented in the 1960s. Ibrahim is also the winner of some of the greatest classical trumpet competitions in the world.

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Photo Ibrahim Maalouf (c) Denis Rouvre
Harmonia Mundi
Last album: 
Diagnostic (2011)

Friends of The Cirque Royal/Botacarte : 17€
Sale : 20€