Hijaz is a multi-ethnic group based around the dialogue between the oud and the piano. Hijaz is an Arabic musical scale but also holds a clear reference to jazz. Where Arabic music is the starting point, jazz is the open attitude towards diverse musical cultures.
Hijaz is a close quartet exploring differences and similarities in Mediterranean cultures in order to create harmony, warmth and musical beauty. On their 3th CD called Nahadin, Hijaz reinvented itself to the essence, the source of the musicality and in their compositions.
In this new form Hijaz experimented, composed and recorded new music in the summer of 2013 with to guests: Abir Nasraoui (voice, Tunesia) and Carlo Rizzo (percussion, Italy). With mutual respect and understanding Hijaz accomplished what in real life seems so hard: to unite cultures.
Musically Nahadin is the next step for Hijaz. Loosing all boundaries, all grip, Hijaz dulges into Music. No more verse, chorus and bridge, just organic music that flows like water and enchants the listener.
new in 2020 : upcoming project with strings
album : 10 years of Hijaz
More than 10 years already, Hijaz is searching for the perfect symbioses between Mediterranean warmth, polyrhythmic structures and musical virtuosity. In a tight formation of four core musicians, Hijaz captured the magic of the moment during two live sessions in Brussels and Antwerp. The result of those recordings is an album celebrating the 10 years of existence of the band. The album consists of new and old material and will be released on the 31st of March 2017, exclusively on vinyl.
After Dunes (2008), Chemsi (2011) and Nahadin (2014), Hijaz developed a very personal musical language where Arabic scales refer to the Tunisian roots of oud player Moufadhel Adhoum, and where the assymetric grooves find their roots in the Greek origin of piano player Niko Deman. It is the dialogue between piano and oud that lays the foundations of the music, supported by percussion and double bass, occasionally enriched with flute.
Moufadhel Adhoum (Tun) Oud
Moufadhel Adhoum was born in 1965 in one of the most popular neighbourhoods of old Medina in Tunis. At the age of 12 he was introduced to the art of oud by the great master of traditional Tunesian and eastern music, Mr. Abderrahmane El Mehdi, and musicologist and Doctor in history of music, Mr Salah El Mehdi. At the same moment, he studied sheet music, Tunisian, Eastern and Arabic music at the Academy of Music of Tunis. He joined a national youth orchestra conducted by maestro Abdelkerim Dlissi and accompanied singers like Latifa, Amina Fakhet, Chokri Omar, etc who are now very famous in Tunisia and Arabia. He also founded several musical ensembles, arranged music and worked as a sound manager at the recording studio Affriquiya Voici. When he arrived in Belgium in 1989, intending to study interior design, he met lots of musicians of different origins and cultures like Turks, Spaniards and Indians and he founded the quartet Shahnez. Later he also collaborated with Ghalia Benali on the project Romeo and Leila, and became her musical righthand. He has performed on lots of international worldmusic festivals and is certainly one of the best oud players of Belgium.
Niko Deman (B-Gr) Piano
Niko Deman showed enthusiasm for music from a small age. That’s why at the age of eight he got his first keyboard on which he started experimenting with the magic of sounds. At the age of 16 the Greek background of his mother motivated him to start playing the bouzouki on his own. Four years later a Greek traditional music group was born which practiced the genre rebetika. In 1997, his growing interest in jazz made him put all his energy in studying jazzpiano at the Jazzstudio of Antwerp. With his limitless goals, he began studying at the Academy of Music of Antwerp in 2000. He completed the years of candidature with Eric Vermeulen and the master program with Cristoph Erbstösser. Today Niko is a teacher of Jazz and Light Music at the Municipal Academies of Schoten.
Ben Faes (B) Bass
Ben Faes is a bass player based in Antwerp, graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. From 1997 to 2001 he was selected for the European Union Youth Orchestra. He played under the direction of conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Gennadi Rozhdestvensky, Paavo Järvi and Sir Colin Davis. As a classical bass player, Ben Faes worked together with the Spectra ensemble, Anima Eterna, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra … Ben is currently playing with the "De Groote-Faes duo" with which he has made two recordings "and Route" and "Symphony for 2 little boys - featuring Dave Douglas”. These records were well received by the international press. He also collaborated with Wannes Van De Velde, Raymond Van Het Groenewoud, Kommil Foo, Roland Van Campenhout and many other artists.
Chryster Aerts (B) Percussion
Chryster studied drums at the Academy of Music of Antwerp, Jazz and Light Music department, with the teachers Chander Sardjoe, Stephane Galland and Jan de Haas. He enrolled in several teaching practices for drums and percussion in both his own country and foreign countries (Berklee Summerschool in Italy, African percussion in Senegal, etc.). Chryster draws his experience out of several jazz formations like DEEP, DEEP, Four Orbits, Rainbow Rhythms, Virus, Paola Marquez Quartet and his sextet C.A. Band. Nowadays he mostly puts his energy in the booty shakin' bigband Balaxy Orchestra, the pop group Assunta Mano and the Tunesian grooving Hijaz. He teaches drums and percussion classes at the Music Academies of Baarle-Hertog/Hoogstraten and Grimbergen and is the principal of the Junior Academy of Music of Sterrebeek. He also works as a freelance musician in schools and gives courses/workshops djembé (Villa Basta, Piazza dell’Arte, Oorsmeer,…). In May 2003, he received a laude of the Koning Boudewijnstichting for the project Ritmiekdag produced with his collegue-friend-drummer-percussionist Bart Van Aken. He also works as a freelance musician with the Dance Company Enclave of Roberto Olivan (De Farra, Helsinki 2005), Jerboa, the percussiongroup Mzungi and others…
enjoy our albums ...
Hijaz 10 years (2017)
arabic jazz - the rough guide (2015)