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 (www.irtijal.org), 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.
Mazen Kerbaj © by Ziga Koritnik