Driss El Maloumi Trio

Wood and skins; strings and vibrations.

Driss El Maloumi wanted this encounter to be a certain promiscuity, an intimacy that should lead to openness and freedom.

Knowing that a man, like a culture, is never made of only one essence, the musician gathered several woods, several tense skins, several sounds, several colours.

In the center: the oud, “the wood” in Arabic (al-ud); at its side percussions of various origins. The musician is made of his heritage, his tradition, but also of his learning through transmission. It is in him like the heart in the center of the tree, the first essence. The one that cannot be denied, that gives the perfume its first fragrance, the one that frames the branch and will shape the genealogy. But the musician is also made of successive strata, like these rings of the tree which roll up one on the other over the years, giving him his age over the soul.

These layers are superimposed, protecting the heart while turning outwards, protected in turn by the sapwood first, then the bark. The visible side, the fragility, the side that absorbs, that rubs against the others, and vice versa. The bark receives the softness of the breezes and the fury of the bad weather, it sees the days melting under the seasons.

It takes the marks of time, which itself is translated internally by the beating of the heart.

Driss El Maloumi knows that he is made of this heritage and this permeability. He loves tradition, its structure, its strength, its dignity. But he needs to let his oud satisfy his greed. This need to go and see if he can also vibrate outside the imprints of the tradition. This desire to know how he will react to the contact of an Iranian zarb or a percussion from Madagascar.

Can he find the freedom to let go while respecting just as greedily what has been transmitted to him, but giving free rein to the possibilities of exchanges and adventures. Adventures already rich on the paths taken by Driss El Maloumi with Jordi Savall, with 3MA (Ballaké Sissoko and Rajery), with Paolo Fresu, Armand Amar, Debashish Bhattacharya, Montserrat Figueiras …

The knowledge he has accumulated in his practice of the oud has allowed him to get involved in these encounters. Today, he wishes to bring back all the spices gleaned from these magnificent experiences and see how the oud will diffuse them in trio with the help of percussions. All while respecting a notion of space…

Etienne Bours

In collaboration with Contre-Jour


Driss El Maloumi – Oud
Saïd El Maloumi– Percussion
Lahoucine Baqir – Darbouka

Biography of Driss El Maloumi

Born in 1970 in Agadir, Morocco, Driss El Maloumi is a musician renowned for his talent and virtuosity. He is probably one of the most sought-after oud players of his generation, with his assertive and delicate technique and the depth that characterises this major instrument of Arab-Andalusian music.

After having obtained a degree in Arabic literature in 1983 and having studied a philosophical approach to music in a thesis, Form and Content in the Artistic Discourse, Driss El Maloumi followed in parallel a solid training in classical Arabic and Western music. He was subsequently awarded at the national examination of the oud the First Prize of the Oud, the First Prize of Improvement and the Prize of Honour at the National Conservatory of Music in Rabat in 1992, 1993 and 1994.

Since 2010, he is director of the Conservatory of Music in Agadir.

While Driss El Maloumi knows and interprets traditional Berber music to perfection, his work is furthermore enriched by encounters with artists of international fame such as Jordi Saval & the Ensemble Hesperion XXI (Spain), and Montserrat Figueras (Spain), with whom he has collaborated on several albums, Pierre Hamon (France), Keyvan Chemirani (Iran), Françoise Atlan (France), Debashish Bhattacharya (India), Omar Bachir (Iraq), Prabhu Edouard (India), Carlo Rizzo (Italy) in ancient, traditional or classical music as well as Paolo Fresu (Italy), Claude Tchamitchian (Armenia), Paf Trio (Italy), Daniel Mille (France) and Xavi Maureta (Spain) in jazz.

He has written and participated in the composition of stage music for numerous shows such as Isabel I, Reina de Castilla (musical direction: Jordi Savall), L’Amour Sorcier by Manuel de Fallã (direction: Antoine Bourseiller), Caravane de Lune (musical direction: Gérard Kurdjian) and Oiseau de Lune (direction: Antoine Bourseiller).

Not to forget the music for films such as La Source des Femmes (directed by Radu Miahileanu) or Le Maroc vu du Ciel (directed by Yann-Arthus Bertrand).

Driss El Maloumi also plays alongside great poets such as Abdellatif Laâbi (Morocco) & Adonis (Syria).

In 2000 he recorded the jazz album Tawada, which he has co-written with Alban Darche (4 stars in Jazz Magazine), 3MA with Ballaké Sissoko and Rajery, named best World Music album at the European Charts 2008, Makan in 2014 (“Masterpiece!”, according to the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles) and Anarouz in 2017, again together with Ballaké Sissoko and Rajery.

Driss El Maloumi has also participated in a number of remarkable projects such as Françoise Atlan’s 1998 album Noches, which won a Choc du Monde de la Musique, or Laurent Voulzy’s Lys & Love, in 2011.


Biography of Saïd El Maloumi

Immersed from an early age in a refined musical universe, Saïd was introduced to the world of percussion at the age of 7 by his older brother Driss, master of the oud. Very quickly, he acquired the technique and the knowledge. Since then, he plays, observes and listens, in a continuous search of new musical languages.

During his travels Saïd met amazing musicians such as Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya, pioneer of the Indian slide guitar, Prabhu Edouard, Liu Fang, Manu Théron, Abdelatif Laâbi, Thierry Roques, Guillaume Lopez, Nicolas Gardel or Ruben Dantas, percussionist of the famous guitarist Paco de Lucia…

His talent and his subtle play lead him to become one of the most gifted percussionists of his generation. Remarkable player of zarb and daf, the emblematic drums of the erudite music of Iran, this virtuoso applies himself to give to his sounds a universal dimension, while adding a personal touch to his mixed influences.

Biography of Lahoucine Baqir

Born in 1970, Lahoucine Baqir is a self-taught percussionist.

Coming from a large family of musicians, he is one of the most gifted darbouka players of his generation.

This renowned musician is also a teacher dedicated to the transmission of his art. He has accompanied the greatest names in world music such as Jordi Savall, Driss El Maloumi who was his godfather and with whom he has performed together in various formulas ( duo, trio, quartet…)

This talented and passionate musician tirelessly questions his identities. His thoughtful and assertive artistic approach is nourished and enriched by numerous encounters that make him one of the most accomplished musicians in the mastery of his instrument and his art…