“In particular, the musicians have one common characteristic: the pursuit of a perfect musical combination, a strange harmony that will move people”
“Masaa” in Arabic stands for a conversation that takes place in the evening, when the rhythms slow down, the tension of the day is gone and comes the time for reflection. A similar “conversation” between Arabic poetry and contemporary jazz is initiated on stage by MASAA, musically creating a special lyrical bond that leaves no one unmoved, exuding harmony and warmth at the same time. MASAA offers an exciting and highly atmospheric ethno-jazz experience.
The group has toured the world and travelled from East Africa to Lebanon, while the five albums they have recorded so far, (Freedom Dance, 2012 | Afkar, 2014 | Outspoken, 2017 | Irade, 2020 | East West Symphony – Hiwar, 2021) accurately represent this pioneering project, for which MASAA has received numerous awards, including the Bremer Jazzpreis (2012), the Creole audience award (2013), the Förder-RUTH of the Rudolstadt Festival (2015) and the German Jazz Award (2021) for best vocal album of the year. The year 2019 is a pivotal year for MASAA, as with the addition of two new musicians, the group redefines and enriches its sound and repertoire with influences from classical, pop and ethnic music.
Rabih Lahoud, vocals
Marcus Rust, trumpet
Reentko Dirks, double neck guitar
Demian Kappenstein, drums
The Lebanese-born Rabih Lahoud studied classical piano, composition, classical and jazz vocals. He feels at home in both Western and Eastern music traditions, due to his Arabian roots. This ambivalence adds to the charm of the confluence of musical styles. In addition to MASAA, he formed the band Eternal Voyage with Markus Stockhausen, and together they released an album in 2009 and performed in the Cologne Philharmonie as well as in many other venues. Since 2019 he has been teaching at the Carl Maria von Weber College of Music in Dresden and the Popakademie Baden-Württemberg. He is a visiting professor of vocal jazz at the Jazz-Institut Berlin.
He discovered a personal interest in foreign cultures on a trip to India. Since then, he follows the path of combining traditional musical elements of different cultures with jazz. In addition to MASAA he performs with the band of the Ethiopian singer Feven Yoseph, and with the duo ZIA. The musicians of ZIA focus on combining jazz and traditional music of a variety of cultures, with church organ and trumpet.
He has written and recorded music for artists of the Cirque du Soleil as well as for the Semper Opera Dresden and is a member of the European Guitar Quartet. Reentko has been introduced to the wide audience as the guitar player alongside Giora Feidman and has given concerts at the Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow and the Carnegie Hall, New York.
He released his first solo album “WEIT”, a suite for percussion, electronics and photography from travels to Mozambique, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India, Lebanon and Taiwan. Next to a regular set of drums, his musical equipment consists of items found in the trash, as well as recycled children’s toys and household items. In addition to MAASA he is touring with his duo Ätna.