Wajdi Riahi Trio

  • Garden Stage
    Friday 5•July•2024

WAJDI RIAHI’s story starts out in 1995 in Tunis, Tunisia. Riahi’s father is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and teacher of traditional Arabic music. The passion for music, and specifically the piano, is passed from father to son and Riahi’s father nourished his son’s ambitions in various ways. At the conservatory in Tunis, the young Wajdi discovered jazz by word-of-mouth as the conservatory was mainly focused on classical training. One of his teachers then helped him find a music internship in Belgium and, once there, his love of the genre took flight and he was inspired to relocate to Brussels to study jazz.


The music with which the young pianist is now making his name in the Belgian jazz scene encompasses his entire story; from his Arabic roots, through his later love for jazz, and onto the bustling atmosphere of Brussels. Whereas the first album 'Mhamdeya’ (2022), which he created as a trio with Pierre Hurty on drums and Basile Rahola on double bass, was full of nostalgia, the second album 'Essia’ which came out at the end of last year is a journey between the pianist’s two horizons. The organic structures of Stambeli and Gnawa - (North) African rhythms - merge with the complexities of jazz. Tunis and Brussels. The record is a delicate weave of light, supple but nevertheless compact textures; it represents craftsmanship that is both soft and robust. Every track stands alone but also forms a cohesive unit with the others, like a collection of short stories. Don’t miss it!