Since the Lebanese poet Rabih Lahoud and the Schwerin trumpeter Marcus Rust met by chance in 2010, together with pianist Clemens Pötzsch and percussionist Demian Kappenstein they have created a forward-looking, intercultural music in the middle of Germany: In Masaa, heartfelt Arabic verse and contemporary jazz interweave, the Occident and the Orient enter into a lyrical liaison with unprecedented conclusiveness.
Masaa have realized their groundbreaking concept on three albums so far, the debut "Freedon Dance" (2012), the follow-up "Afkar" (2014), "outspoken" (2017), "Irade" (2020) and the current album"Beit" (2023)

If Afkar was the impressive snapshot of a search, outspoken documents the powerful result of a patient and determined development, for which MASAA was awarded the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Rabih Lahoud was nominated for the ECHO Jazz in the category "best national singer" for this album. Already in the founding year 2012 they were awarded the Bremen Jazz Prize. In the following years 2 more important world music awards of Germany went to them: The Audience Award of the Creole Competition (2013) and the Förder-RUTH of the TFF in Rudolstadt (2015).

From the beginning, the band has been keen to take their work to the outside world: Masaa have completed successful tours to Africa and Lahoud's home country Lebanon, and in summer 2015 started their teamwork with Israeli musicians such as singer Yael Deckelbaum. With this collaboration Masaa set a signal for the support of the peace process between Jewish and Arab culture.

Starting in 2019, they will perform with a new sound and personnel. In place of pianist Clemens Pötzsch, Reentko Dirks has now joined the band on double-neck guitar - an exceptionally versatile guitarist who is at home in classical, pop as well as world music. He is an explorer of previously unknown sounds on the acoustic guitar and shapes Masaa's new sound with his style in a special way.

Rabih Lahoud, vocals
studied composition, classical piano, classical singing and jazz singing. As familiar with Western musical tradition as he is with the musical culture of his Arab homeland, he is interested in the ambivalence between Orient and Occident.
With Markus Stockhausen he founded the band "Eternal Voyage", with which he released a CD in 2009 and performed at the Kölner Philharmonie, among other venues. He has a teaching position for jazz and pop vocals at the universities in Düsseldorf and Hamburg.

Marcus Rust, trumpet
discovered his passion and interest in traditional music of foreign cultures during a longer stay in India. Among other things, these influence his work with organist Christian Grosch in the duo "Zia". The musicians dedicate themselves to the connection of jazz and traditional music of different cultures and jazz in the church room. He has a teaching position for jazz trumpet at the UDK in Berlin.

Reentko Dirks, guitar
is a guitarist and composer. He has written and produced music for artists of Cirque du Soleils as well as the Semperoper Dresden and is a member of the EUROPEAN GUITAR QUARTET. Reentko is known to a wide audience mainly as a guitarist at the side of Giora Feidman or also Ben Becker. He has performed in concert halls such as Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow and Carnegie Hall in New York.

Demian Kappenstein, percussion
released a CD with the "Ring Ensemble", in which the musicians of his jazz trio "Ring" collaborated with an ensemble of historical string instruments.
With his solo program "Travel Suite" he processes experiences from his travels through countries such as Kosovo, Taiwan, Turkey or Israel. Kappenstein has worked with musicians such as Giora Feidman, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Miss Platnum.

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© 2024 Rabih Lahoud             ©Photos/videos: INEZ, Javier Sobremazas, Pavel Ovsik, privat

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