Grégoire Tirtiaux is one of those musicians for whom music is not limited to a style or genre. For him, music is a meeting place and a means of communication, regardless of language or other differences. During his musical journeys, he has already mixed his characteristic sound on alto and baritone saxophone with a.o. Arabic, gypsy, improvisation, West and North African, Indian, meditative, trance and jazz music.
Grégoire plays contemporary music, rooted in the most diverse traditions, that touches the soul with every note. He is always on the lookout for new, surprising and modern sounds. The numerous projects in which he participates as a sideman or leader range from big band to solo work, and from tight compositions to free improvisation.
Some of them are also produced by MetX: Mâäk Quintet, Mâäk Kojo or recently Les Sheikhs Shikhats & B’net Chaabi. Since 2022 he organises the workshop series HORN = DRUM. Together with Laurent Blondiau, he shares tips and tricks with brass and wind players who want to join percussion groups without (much) preparatory rehearsal.
After studying saxophone at the Instituto Superior de los Artes (ISA) in Havana and jazz at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, Grégoire continued to explore other musical traditions. Through his many travels, he learned about Gnawa trance music from Morocco, Vodun rhythms from Benin, melodies and harmonies from Transylvania, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. His encounters in Palestine gave him insight into maqam, a system of melodic modes used in traditional Arabic music. He also immersed himself in the Indian traditions of Dhrupad singing and Konnakol, the rhythmic language of South India. This syncretic vision on music, associated with a pronounced taste for improvisation, helped him develop his very own style in search of universality and authenticity.
At present, he performs with the following projets: L’Orchestre du Belgistan, Mâäk 5tet, MikMâäk (jazz), Mâäk Kojo and Eve Risser & Red Desert Orchestra (jazz Vodun), Trance Mission Gnawa (gnawa jazz), Gong Extensions (meditative music), Popdragon, Al Manara (belgian-palestinian musical encounters), Mathieu Ha et le syndicat d’initiative (utopic pop), Punk Kong and Giovanni di Domenico & Abschattungen (impro jazz), Sitardust (indo jazz), Fundament (Impro bigbassband), duo with Peter Jacquemyn and Trio Bongo (improvisation), Laïla Amezian and Les Sheiks Shikats & B’net Chaabi, Steppe, Dinant Jazz Orchestra, Grégoire Tirtiaux solo + quartet and other ad hoc collaborations.