NOISE: Sketches from Lebanon

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Contributor George Chen points to this dispatch regarding improv trumpet player and cartoonist/illustrator Mazen Kerbaj of Lebanon.

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Until recently Kerbaj and other musicians and artists were scheduled to be in the states on a 15-date tour, e-mailed musician LIz Albee on July 16.

"I was hoping to e-mail those of you I know in the Midwest and East Coast to urge you to see their shows," she writes. "Unfortunately, the airport was bombed shortly before they were supposed to leave. They were then hoping to fly out of Syria, but the main roads have also been bombed, and their city, Beirut, is now under constant attack, so they have cancelled their tour.

"Too bad for us music fans.

"So as a grossly inadequate compromise, may I introduce to you Mazen Kerbaj, an artist and writer and very very, very great trumpet player: http://mazenkerblog.blogspot.com/.

"And also Raed Yassin, an accomplished double bass player, filmmaker, dancer, writer and poet (that's, ahem, accomplished at all these things)....

"Ya'll should really hear their stuff. Or see it. Or read it. Or meet them sometime when their airport is rebuilt. Again."