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Mazen Kerbaj

Mazen Kerbaj © by Ziga Koritnik

Mazen Kerbaj is a Lebanese comics author, visual artist, and musician born in Beirut in 1975. He also works on selective illustration and design projects and has taught at the American University of Beirut.

Kerbaj is the author of more than 15 books, and his short stories and drawings have been published in anthologies, newspapers, and magazines. His work has been translated into more than ten languages and has been shown in galleries, museums and art fairs around the world.

Mazen Kerbaj is widely considered as one of the initiators and key players of the Lebanese free improvisation and experimental music scene. He is co-founder of Irtijal, an annual improvisation music festival (, and of Al Maslakh, the first label for experimental music in the region operating since 2005.

As a trumpet player, whether in solo performances or with long-lasting groups like “A” Trio, Kerbaj pushes the boundaries of the instrument and continues to develop a personal sound and an innovative language, following in the footsteps of pioneers like Bill Dixon, Axel Dörner and Franz Hautzinger. 

In 2015, Kerbaj was the recipient of a DAAD one-year artist in residency in Berlin. He lives and works in the German capital since.

Since his move to Berlin, Kerbaj has developed several new projects in different fields, such as Borborygmus a theater play he co-wrote, directed and performed with Rabih Mroué and Lina Majdalanie; Synesthesia, a concept for a live graphic score for an improvising ensemble; and Walls Will Fall, a composition for 49 trumpets. He also started working on Antoine, his most ambitious graphic novel to date.

Compass Festival Day 1

29 Nov 2013 - 20:00
Raed Yassin

Doors 20:00, Beginn 21:00

  • Raed Yassin (double bass) , Hanna Hartman (sound art, performance)
  • Magda Mayas (piano) , Axel Dörner (trumpet), Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet)
  • Andrea Neumann (inside piano piano/ mixing desk), Sharif Sehnaoui (guitar), Michael Vorfeld (percussion)

Compass Festival Workshop with Mazen Kerbaj

30 Nov 2013 - 12:00
Mazen Kerbaj

"improvisation and visual art – can the hand go faster than the brain?"

A workshop with Mazen Kerbaj, about creating “real time drawings”, a method where the drawing itself will reveal its subject to the artist during the process of creation.


please rsvp at

Compass Festival Day 2

30 Nov 2013 - 21:00
Charbel Haber & Tony Elieh

Doors: 20:00, Beginn: 21:00

  • Olivier di Placido (deconstructed e-guitar), Charbel Haber (e-guitar)
  • Johnny Kafta Anti-Vegetarian Orchestra with Sharif Sehnaoui (guitar), Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet), Raed Yassin (bass), Charbel Haber (e-guitar), Tony Elieh (e-bass), Tony Buck (percussion)


Compass Festival Day 3

1 Dec 2013 - 21:00
Scrambled Eggs
  • A trio - Sharif Sehnaoui (guitar), Mazen Kerbaj (trumpet), Raed Yassin (bass)
  • JD Zazie (turntables), Tony Elieh (e-bass)
  • Collaboration:
    Scrambled Eggs - Charbel Haber, Tony Elieh, Tony Buck
    Transmit  - Tony Buck, Magda Mayas, Brendan Dougherty, James Welburn


Sawt Out: Beins/Kerbaj/Vorfeld + Filip/Majkowski

16 Feb 2019 - 20:30
Sawt Out: Burkhard Beins, Mazen Kerbaj, Michael Vorfeld

Sawt Out
Burkhard Beins – percussion
Mazen Kerbaj – trumpet
Michael Vorfeld – percussion

Filip / Majkowski
Klaus Filip – computer
Mike Majkowski – double bass

ArihaBrassQuartet: Dörner/Hautzinger/Hübsch/Kerbaj

19 Jan 2020 - 20:30
Ariha Brass Quartet

Ariha Brass Quartet
Axel Dörner – trumpet
Franz Hautzinger – trumpet
Carl Ludwig Hübsch – tuba
Mazen Kerbaj – trumpet


4 Dec 2020 - 18:30

biegungen visits studioboerne45:

Celebrating 20 Years of Irtijal

Tag/Day 1


5 Dec 2020 - 18:30

biegungen visits studioboerne45:

Celebrating 20 Years of Irtijal

Tag/Day 2

Bricolage #1: Mazen Kerbaj + Ken Vandermark

19 Mar 2021 - 20:00
K. Vandermark (c) Petra Cvelbar - M. Kerbaj (c) private

Livestream duo concert with

Mazen Kerbaj (Berlin)
Ken Vandermark (Chicago)

livestream starts at 20:00 Uhr/ 8 p.m. (CET / Berlin time - sharp) over here:

biegungen presents: irtijal berlin 20/21 – day 3

10 Oct 2021 - 19:00
10 Oct 2021 - 23:59
biegungen presents irtijal berlin 20/21 by Mazen Kerbaj

Christine Abdelnour, Burkhard Beins, Tony Buck, Paed Conca, Axel Dörner, Tony Elieh, Ali Hout, JD Zazie, Mazen Kerbaj, Abed Kobeissy, Andrew Lafkas, Magda Mayas, Aya Metwalli, Andrea Parkins, Youmna Saba, Sharif Sehnaoui, Fadi Tabbal, Liz Tabet, Michael Thieke, Michael Vorfeld, Biliana Voutchkova, Ute Wassermann & Raed Yassin

Ermke/Kerbaj/Tuerlinckx + Metal Illusion

19 Feb 2023 - 20:30
19 Feb 2023 - 23:48
Metal Illusion / Illustration by Mazen Kerbaj

Metal Illusion
Els Vandeweyer + Rieko Okuda 

Ermke/Kerbaj/Tuerlinckx Trio Premiere
Andrea Ermke + Mazen Kerbaj + Anaïs Tuerlinckx

Paroxysm / Das B.

15 Sep 2023 - 20:30
15 Sep 2023 - 23:59
Das B. © by Tony Elieh | Paroxysm © by Paroxysm

Doors 20.30 Uhr | Concerts 21 Uhr | Tickets (AK | Box Office) € 10,--

Roy Carroll – electroacoustic media
Werner Dafeldecker – double bass

Das B.
Mazen Kerbaj – trumpet
Magda Mayas – piano
Mike Majkowski – double bass
Tony Buck – drums