wajdi Cherif
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wajdi Cherif


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wajdi Cherif @ Tanger Jazz Festival

Tangier, Not Applicable, Morocco

Tangier, Not Applicable, Morocco

wajdi Cherif @ Moulin à Jazz

Vitrolles, Not Applicable, France

Vitrolles, Not Applicable, France

wajdi Cherif @ CAVAJAZZ jazz club

Alba La Romaine, Not Applicable, France

Alba La Romaine, Not Applicable, France

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"On Phrygian Istikhbar, Wajdi Cherif covers a lot of territory. From the romantic solo piece "Tunis by Night" to the bendir-driven title track to the Bill Evans-informed, lightly-swinging "Waiting for Paris", Cherif shows himself to be adiverse and interesting composer and performer". - EJAZZNEWS

"Phrygian Istikhbar" is an album which significantly expands the genre of 'World Music' as it has typical North African flavours but it is also 'straight-ahead' jazz composition and improvisation with a simplistic beauty which has cross over appeal, an album which will please many kinds of jazz fans.

Wajdi Cherif has a rather gracious musical character that is well served by the accompanying musicians (authoritative flute of David Sauzay), which interplays with the rhythmic colors brought by Mourad Benhammou, at ease in both musical languages... The profusion of colors and the rhythmic energy makes “Jasmine” a charming album. J. Szlamowicz - Jazzhot Magazine (France)

Pochade, immediately draws the extremely original contours of the album, with a double savour of jazz and arabic music. The second track "Jasmine", also the title of the album, diffuses indeed a soft Eastern perfume whose delicacy is a real joy. "Falaises" confirms the inventiveness of Wajdi Cherif and his unique style, a very convincing fusion of jazz and arabic music... - Piano Bleu (France)

Simply beautiful! Honest, unaffected, unadorned musical communication - World-jazz at its best! - Kaya FM 95.9 FM (South Africa)

Here is a little gem and a delight to play. Pochade, Geranium Blues and Phrygian Tounsi are favourites and getting aired amongst the cognoscenti! - Juice FM 107.2 BRIGHTON (ENGLAND)

Tunisian pianist Wajdi Cherif with his CD EP Phrygian Istikhbar, while retaining the flavour of his native country’s music, places more emphasis on the jazz tradition, resulting in a fresh new sound that brings a different slant to the concept of world music. - JAzzreview.com by David Binder

The reach of the jazz aesthetic keeps expanding, and Jasmine is a prime example of a totally successful fusion of different musics. - All About Jazz


''Fuzzy Colours'', Wajdi Cherif, Wech records 2009
"Jasmine", Wajdi Cherif, Wech records 2006
"Phrygian Istikhbar", Wajdi Cherif, Wech records 2003



At five years old, Wajdi Cherif played on piano the melodies that he heard on the local radio in his native Tunisia by ear. As he grew up, his passion for music has never left him even when he studied at university to get a BA in English literature in 1998.

Wajdi Cherif discovered jazz by watching live performances videos of pianists Chick COREA, Thelonious MONK, Bill EVANS at the american cultural center in Tunis. This marked a turning point in his musical career as he decided to study jazz mainly by himself. He made his debut as a professional jazz pianist in 1998 when he played with the famous Tunisian jazz guitarist Faouzi Chekili in many jazz festivals in Tunisia and Europe. Wajdi Cherif played also with many international jazz artists on tour in Tunisia such as Claudio Perez (USA), Deidda Dario (Italy), Dick De Graaf (Holland), Sigi Finkel Germany)...

In 1999, he was invited by the Gothes-Institut of Tunis to play the premiere of the German pianist Dieter Kohnlein and to direct a master class on jazz piano. Few months later, Wajdi Cherif played the premiere of a jazz legend, Archie SHEPP during the "Jazz in Tunis" festival. The same year, he met pianist Bernard MAURY, an important figure of jazz piano in France, who became his harmony teacher. His later meetings with great jazz pianists Kenny WERNER, Chick COREA and Ahmad JAMAL, Martial SOLAL shaped significantly both his vision of music and of playing piano in general.

Wajdi Cherif's music is a fusion of the modern jazz piano styles ranging from Thelonious MONK to Keith JARRET and Chick COREA, but at the same time with the influence of the colorful melodies of Arabic music that he was exposed to since his early childhood. All this resulted in the creation of a brand new jazz sound, a symbiosis of jazz and Arabic sounds. His distinctive performances as a leader in many renowned venues received critic's acclaim as the Tabarka Jazz Festival in Tunisia, where he led many jazz workshops and master classes with prestigious guest artists such as Paco SERY, Al Di MEOLA, Freddy RAVEL (pianist, Al Jarreau) and others.. Recent performances of Wajdi Cherif Band include the Institut Du Monde Arabe IMA (Paris), Tanjazz Festival (Morroco), La Villette Jazz Festival (Paris), Couleurs Jazz (Tunisia), Jazz In Carthage, Les Flanneries Musicales de Reims etc…

Wajdi Cherif recorded his first album "Phrygian Istikhbar" in Paris in 2003 accompanied by Diego Imbert on acoustic bass, Jeff Boudreau on drums and Habib Samandi on Arabic percussion. "Phrygian Istkhbar" was finalist in the Indie Acoustic Awards in the USA in 2004 and got good reviews.

Three years later, Wajdi Cherif recorded his second album entitled "Jasmine" with some of the finest young French jazz musicians, released on march 02, 2006 in France. "Jasmine" shows the maturity and excellent artistic standard that pianist and composer Wajdi Cherif has accomplished so far (Honrable mention in the International Songwriting Competition (Judges included Sonny Rollins ,John Scofield, Steve Vai…), Indie Acoustic Project winner Best CD of 2005, UNISONG songwriting Contest 1st place winner...). Wajdi Cherif was selected in 2006 to enter the prestigious Martial Solal International Jazz Piano competition in Paris. Wajdi Cherif continues to build with his music a solid bridge between two worlds, jazz and Arabic music and contributes to more understanding between two different musical cultures.