About


Martin Salemi – Pianist/Composer

Welcome to the website of Belgian pianist and composer Martin Salemi. Here you can find tour dates, pictures, videos, discography, press reviews, scores and music. Thank you for your visit !

Martin Salemi is an eclectic musician and prolific composer, an in-demand pianist and bandleader in constant search of true honesty in every note he plays.

He has brought his own music to stages all across Europe and was described on national radio RTBF as « a beautiful example of what jazz can be today: a music nourished by all musics, free of yesterday’s constraints ». (Laurent Graulus – Musiq3)

Released in 2017, ‘Short Stories, his first trio album with the IGLOO Records jazz label, was critically and publicly acclaimed – « There’s some Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett in this young musician (…) a knock out » (Le Soir ***), « I really can’t praise this album highly enough (…) Get it! » (Lynn René Bayley, US). In 2018, he won first prize at the B-Jazz International Contest – « What a good band! They sound beautiful ». He has recorded three albums with the funk-power band OPMOC and has toured extensively, playing the keyboards on Europe’s biggest stages and festivals. 

His second trio album, ‘About Time’, released in Autumn 2021, was considered an « instant classic » by Philippe Baron – RTBF and got a 4-star review in Jazz Magazine (FR). « Always of great accuracy and astonishing musicality (…). To listen to and re-listen to until you lose all sense of time. (…). Discover without delay! » (Brigitte Mahaux – Musiq3)

Besides his work as a leader, Martin Salemi is also very much in demand as a sideman. Notably, he regularly explores the standard repertoire with Italian double bass phenomenon Manolo Cabras and young Belgian rising star Gaspard Sicx in the Salemi/Cabras/Sicx trio.

He also plays the keyboards in the Belgian band Otto Kintet who, since 2016, have released three albums – « One thing is certain: this music is of an immense beauty » (Dani Heyvaert – Rootstime).

A prolific composer, Martin Salemi also writes music for the theatre and the cinema. Among others, he has worked with the likes of the German theatre collective Rimini Protokoll, the Belgian film-maker Luc Jabon and the Domya, La Berlue and L’Anneau theatre companies.

« There’s nothing cryptic about his superb playing… » Jim Gilchrist – The Scotsman (UK).

Pro-active member of the Brussels music community, he launched in 2021 the ambitious “Muzik1030 Bar” project in his municipality of Schaerbeek. Aiming to revitalise the cultural and catering sectors, he set up a financial and logistical aid programme to assist with the organisation of concerts in local bars. A great success from the start, the project made the headlines in the regional and national press and, in the space of a year, made possible the organisation of over 180 concerts in the cafés of Schaerbeek, providing work for over 600 musicians. The project, supported by the municipality, has been relaunched for three years, and other Brussels municipalities are now trying to draw inspiration from it.


« There’s an elegance to the trio throughout the record (…)
A sophisticated sound that deserves fuller exposure beyond the trio’s home country. »

Stephen Graham – Marlbank (UK), about “Leaving: Live On Tour” (2023)

« Beautiful melodies and superb trio work […] An instant classic »
Philippe Baron – RTBF Musiq3, about “About Time” (2021)

« A partir d’un matériau d’une grande simplicité, sans recherche d’effets ni de ruptures, le sens du récit et la qualité du son d’ensemble emportent l’adhésion »
Vincent Cotro – Jazz Magazine – 4 étoiles (FR), about “About Time” (2021)

« Toujours d’une justesse et d’une musicalité étonnante […] Il s’écoute et se réécoute à en perdre toute notion du temps […] A découvrir sans plus attendre ! »
Brigitte Mahaux – RTBF Musiq3 about “About Time” (2021)

« Les plages s’enchaînent et coulent avec intelligence dans une fausse simplicité en nous entraînant dans de nouveaux paysages toujours recommencés […] About Time est une production cohérente au naturel léger mais plein d’élan et construite comme une œuvre classique : tout y est mélodie, calme et ravissement, propice à la réflexion, un album que l’on sent inspiré par les idées élévatrices d’une belle humanité. »
Pierre Dulieu – DragonJazz (disque du mois, Sélection Best Of 2021) about “About Time

« Het spel van Salemi is echter van zulk hoog niveau, zowel emotievol als speltechnisch, en de samenwerking tussen hem en de ritmesectie zo fijn, dat dit trio net zo gemakkelijk tussen al die vernieuwende Belgische bands internationaal grote indruk kan maken. »
Dick Hovenga – WrittenInMusic

«  I really can’t praise this album highly enough. If the reader gets the feeling from the above review that I didn’t quite describe Salemi’s playing in enough detail, it is only because there is so much detail that it’s better to just listen and not analyze too much. Get it! »
Lynn René Bayley, Artmusiclounge (US), about “Short Stories” (2017)

«  Ca fait du bien d’écouter un album de jazz contemporain qui ne cherche pas à tout prix des sonorités inouïes […] La musique est fraîche, joyeuse, dansante »
Jean-Claude Vantroyen, Le Soir ***, about “Short Stories” (2017)

«  Van begin tot einde zuiver akoestisch zonder electronics en toch klopte het plaatje. Respect! »
Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazz’ Halo about “Short Stories” (2017)

« Les compositions du leader sont toutes délectables. Non seulement, elles ont du caractère mais, ni démonstratives ni appliquées, elles sont aussi mémorables par leur côté mélodieux »
Pierre Dulieu, Dragonjazz, about “Short Stories” (2017)

«  Martin Salemi est un bel exemple de ce que peut être le jazz aujourd’hui: une musique qui se nourrit de toutes les musiques, libérée de ses carcans d’autrefois. »
Laurent Graulus, RTBF Musiq3

«  On est très loin d’un jazz cérébral et hermétique […] Ce sont des mélodies qui accrochent tout de suite, sans tomber non plus dans la facilité. C’est délicat, ça swingue, tout en finesse […] absolument remarquable. »
Xavier Vanbuggenhout, RTBF La Première, about “Short Stories” (2017)

© pictures from top to bottom : Cindy De Kuyper, Patrick Clerens, Erwin Van Rillaer, Vincent Blairon

Next Concerts

Here you can find my upcoming tour dates. Hope to see you there!

More infos about schedule and line-up on the concert page.

• 08/02/2024 – Martin Salemi Trio – Jazz Station – Brussels, Belgium
• 11/02/2024 – Vigdis Hansa Elst Trio – Jazz Station – Brussels, Belgium
• 02/03/2024 – Otto Kintet – Grimbergen, Belgium
• 15/03/2024 – Boris Schmidt Band – Jazz Station – Brussels, Belgium
• 16/03/2024 – Boris Schmidt Band – Luxembourg
• 17/03/2024 – Boris Schmidt Band – Heptone – Ittre, Belgium
• 20/03/2024 – Schaerbeek Voix – Filousophe – Brussels, Belgium
• 27/03/2024 – Stéphane Mercier Quartet – Le Rideau Rouge – Lasnes, Belgium
• 29/03/2024 – Max Vandervorst – Boulogne Sur Mer, France
• 26/04/2024 – Oreika – Balkan Trafik – Brussels, Belgium
• 16/05/2024 – Daniel Stokart Quartet – Jazz Station – Brussels, Belgium
• 17/05/2024 – Oreika – L’An Vert – Liège, Belgium
• 09/06/2024 – Daniel Stokart Quartet – Heptone – Ittre, Belgium
• 23/06/2024 – Calvo/Salemi Quartet – The Music Village – Brussels, Belgium
• 26/06/2024 – Calvo/Salemi Quartet – La Laiterie – Brussels, Belgium
• 04/07/2024 – Schaerbeek Voix – Kriekelaar – Brussels, Belgium
• 10/08/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – Gaume Jazz Festival – Rossignol, Belgium
• 13/10/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – Heptone – Ittre, Belgium
• 26/11/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – Théâtre Marni – Brussels, Belgium
• 30/11/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – Centre Culturel – Mouscron, Belgium
• 04/12/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – Rideau Rouge – Lasnes, Belgium
• 05/12/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – CC Libramont – Libramont, Belgium
• 06/12/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – Le Club – Comines, Belgium
• 07/12/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – L’An Vert – Liège, Belgium
• 08/12/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – Relais Jazz – Tourinnes-La Grosse, Belgium
• 13/12/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – Jazz9- Mazy, Belgium
• 14/12/2024 – Martin Salemi Daylight – Junglingshaus – Eupen, Belgium
• 24/01/2025 – Martin Salemi Daylight – Blanc Cailloux – Braine L’Alleud, Belgium
• 13/02/2025 – Otto Kintet – Hoeilaart, Belgium

News

Very happy and very honored to sub the great Nicola Andrioli 🙏 tonight in Stéphane Mercier quartet featuring Nic Thys and Darren Beckett 🥳 🎶

@stephanemercier @darrenabeckett @nic_thys_bass

Very happy and very honored to sub the great Nicola Andrioli 🙏 tonight in Stéphane Mercier quartet featuring Nic Thys and Darren Beckett 🥳 🎶

@stephanemercier @darrenabeckett @nic_thys_bass
...

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This was one of the first gigs with my new band Daylight, at a great sold-out night at the Sounds in Brussels some time ago. Featuring Sylvain Debaisieux on tenor, Boris Schmidt on doublebass, and Daniel Jonkers on drums. Since then, we’ve welcomed Lorenzo Di Maio on guitar 🎸.

2024 holds exciting things for this project! We’re performing tomorrow at @propulse_festival_fwb and preparing to release our first album on @igloorec in November. Along with a release tour across Belgium 🤗 Looking forward to playing and sharing our music with you 🎶

Video by Basile Beauvois, edited by Vincent Blairon
Sound by Vincent De Bast

This was one of the first gigs with my new band Daylight, at a great sold-out night at the Sounds in Brussels some time ago. Featuring Sylvain Debaisieux on tenor, Boris Schmidt on doublebass, and Daniel Jonkers on drums. Since then, we’ve welcomed Lorenzo Di Maio on guitar 🎸.

2024 holds exciting things for this project! We’re performing tomorrow at @propulse_festival_fwb and preparing to release our first album on @igloorec in November. Along with a release tour across Belgium 🤗 Looking forward to playing and sharing our music with you 🎶

Video by Basile Beauvois, edited by Vincent Blairon
Sound by Vincent De Bast
...

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Gigs in the next few weeks, happy to be making music in such different projects with so many great musicians in this beginning of 2024:) 🤗☀️🎶
See you at one of those comme on dit

📷 @mondayjr

Gigs in the next few weeks, happy to be making music in such different projects with so many great musicians in this beginning of 2024:) 🤗☀️🎶
See you at one of those comme on dit

📷 @mondayjr
...

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Great review from Stephen Graham (founder editor of Jazzwise) about my latest trio release “Leaving: Live On Tour”:) 🙏 

“Keith Jarrett fans step this way - as there is a very on-the-mark tribute to the great pianist circa his 1970s European Quartet heyday on title track ‘Leaving’. A live recording made by Belgians the Martin Salemi trio recorded in 2021 you’ll also find tunes from their studio album About Time. Pianist Salemi’s approach lands a little in the vein of Scot Fergus McCreadie in places while trio mates bassist Boris Schmidt and drummer Daniel Jonkers know how to support Salemi perfectly. And there’s an elegance to the trio throughout the record, which is a digital only release. A sophisticated sound that deserves fuller exposure beyond the trio’s home country.”

Available on all streaming platforms 🎶

@borisschmidtmusic @igloorec #martinsalemitrio

Great review from Stephen Graham (founder editor of Jazzwise) about my latest trio release “Leaving: Live On Tour”:) 🙏

“Keith Jarrett fans step this way - as there is a very on-the-mark tribute to the great pianist circa his 1970s European Quartet heyday on title track ‘Leaving’. A live recording made by Belgians the Martin Salemi trio recorded in 2021 you’ll also find tunes from their studio album About Time. Pianist Salemi’s approach lands a little in the vein of Scot Fergus McCreadie in places while trio mates bassist Boris Schmidt and drummer Daniel Jonkers know how to support Salemi perfectly. And there’s an elegance to the trio throughout the record, which is a digital only release. A sophisticated sound that deserves fuller exposure beyond the trio’s home country.”

Available on all streaming platforms 🎶

@borisschmidtmusic @igloorec #martinsalemitrio
...

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Geeking 🤪😁🎹 
got two very nice modern preamps to try thanks to @vintage_keys_shop 🙏 

#tinesandreeds #rhodesmark2 #ferropreamp #retroflyer #avionstudios @avionstudios @tinesandreeds @vintage_keys_shop

Geeking 🤪😁🎹
got two very nice modern preamps to try thanks to @vintage_keys_shop 🙏

#tinesandreeds #rhodesmark2 #ferropreamp #retroflyer #avionstudios @avionstudios @tinesandreeds @vintage_keys_shop
...

42 4
This is a tune I composed two years ago, recorded with my trio featuring Daniel Jonkers and Boris Schmidt✨❤️ and released on Igloo Records 🎶 "One Fine Day" from the album "About Time" with a beautiful artwork from my dad animated by @pixileon 
You can find it on streaming platforms and on Bandcamp via my website in bio 🤗🤗

This is a tune I composed two years ago, recorded with my trio featuring Daniel Jonkers and Boris Schmidt✨❤️ and released on Igloo Records 🎶 "One Fine Day" from the album "About Time" with a beautiful artwork from my dad animated by @pixileon
You can find it on streaming platforms and on Bandcamp via my website in bio 🤗🤗
...

41 2
Having fun with the sequencer of the Prophet6, the Clavinet D6 and the Xotic wah pedal:) 🎹🎹 along with a drumbeat made with the Linndrum VST Vprom 🎵✨🥳

#clavinet #clavinetd6 @vintagevibe #prophet6 #xoticeffects @sequential_llc @xotic_usa #xoticwah

Having fun with the sequencer of the Prophet6, the Clavinet D6 and the Xotic wah pedal:) 🎹🎹 along with a drumbeat made with the Linndrum VST Vprom 🎵✨🥳

#clavinet #clavinetd6 @vintagevibe #prophet6 #xoticeffects @sequential_llc @xotic_usa #xoticwah
...

73 10
“Leaving” was written as a little tribute to one of my biggest heroes, Keith Jarrett:) 
Here’s the live take of it, with my trio featuring Boris Schmidt on doublebass and Daniel Jonkers on drums, released on Igloo Records 🎶🎵
You can watch the full take on YouTube, or listen to it and the rest of the album on streaming services:) Links are in my bio🙏🤪

#martinsalemitrio #igloorecords #danieljonkers #borisschmidt #jazz9mazy

“Leaving” was written as a little tribute to one of my biggest heroes, Keith Jarrett:)
Here’s the live take of it, with my trio featuring Boris Schmidt on doublebass and Daniel Jonkers on drums, released on Igloo Records 🎶🎵
You can watch the full take on YouTube, or listen to it and the rest of the album on streaming services:) Links are in my bio🙏🤪

#martinsalemitrio #igloorecords #danieljonkers #borisschmidt #jazz9mazy
...

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Music

Music

Leaving: Live On Tour” (2023) is my third album in trio, featuring Boris Schmidt on doublebass and Daniel Jonkers on drums. It was released on IGLOO Records and features 6 live takes of original compositions. Buy on Bandcamp or Stream here.

About Time” (2021) is my second album in trio, featuring Boris Schmidt on doublebass and Daniel Jonkers on drums. It was released on IGLOO Records and features 7 original compositions. Buy on Bandcamp or Stream here.

Short Stories” (2017) is my first record with my trio. It was released on Igloo Records and features 6 original compositions and 2 covers. With Mike Delaere on doublebass, and Toine Cnockaert on drums. Buy on Bandcamp or Stream here.

Pico” (2021) is the second album of the band Otto Kintet, led by Otto Kint on doublebass and featuring Jeroen Capens on saxophone, Lukas Somers on guitar, Daniel Jonkers on drums and me on keyboards. Three compositions of mine are featured on the album : Doubt, When Days Are Getting Longer, and Still Water. Buy on Bandcamp.

OPMOC” (2017) is the third album of my band “OPMOC”. I wrote all compositions, arrangements and some of the lyrics. With Jacob Miller on bass and vocals, Maxime Van Eerdewegh on drums, Antoine Lafontaine on trumpet, Bruno Borsu on alto saxophone, Creo Cristoria and Jeroen Capens on tenor saxophone. Buy on Bandcamp.

Videos

Videos

Here are some of the videos made with my music.

Video editing is one of my hobbies and some of these music videos I have made myself. Hope you enjoy!


Here are the videos from my last album in trio “Leaving: Live On Tour” (IGLOO Records – 2023). Recorded by Vincent De Bast and filmed by Vincent Blairon, it features Boris Schmidt on doublebass and Daniel Jonkers on drums. The album can be streamed here.

Here’s an animation video made by Pixileon Studios, with linocuts by Jean-Claude Salemi.


Here are four tunes we recorded in duo with Boris Schmidt on doublebass. Featuring two compositions of Boris, one by Venezuelan musician Cristobal Soto and a composition of mine.


Here are two livestreams we recorded in quartet in april 2021. Both are recorded in “one-shot” by Vincent Blairon, in a scenery using mirrors to have different shooting angles.


Here are six videos we filmed with my trio in september 2020. All recorded in “one-shot” by Vincent Blairon on camera and Vincent De Bast on sound.


A streaming concert made possible by B-Jazz during Leuven Jazz Festival in Belgium.

Still Water is a tune I wrote, here recorded in a one-shot music video for the band Otto Kintet. The tune is from the album “Pico”, out in 2021.

Doubt is a music I composed for a full-length documentary about Brussels.

Here are five videos I have made myself for OPMOC, for which I also wrote the music and the lyrics.


Lennie’s Pennies is a music video I made with an old movie I found on internet.

Regina is a music video made by Vincent Blairon and Augustin Polet from Les Frêres Jambons Production.

Here are three music videos made by Vincent Blairon for OPMOC

Photos

Photos

Discography

Discography

As a leader :

Martin SalemiLeaving: Live On Tour (Igloo Records – 2023)

Martin SalemiAbout Time (Igloo Records – 2021)

Martin Salemi TrioShort Stories (Igloo Records – 2017)

OPMOCOPMOC (autoproduction – 2017)

Martin Salemi TrioUnsaid (2015)

OPMOCNo Borders (autoproduction – 2015)

Nous Etions Ailleurs(ep) (2014)

OPMOCJourneys (autoproduction – 2012)

OPMOC – (ep) (2010)

As a sideman/co-leader :

Jean-Claude Salemi & Martin SalemiEn attendant… (2022)

Otto Kintet – Pico Sessions (Zennez Records – 2022)

Otto Kintet Pico (Zennez Records – 2021)

Salemi/Cabras/Sicx – Home Session (2018)

Otto KintetGloed (Zennez Records – 2018)

What Standards – (ep) (2016)

Quintessence Big Band – (ep) (2016)

Otto KintetOtto Kintet (2016)

SwingoboxLive à la Jazz Station (2015)

Funkarium(ep) (2015)

Martin et Otto(ep) (2014)

30 de FebreroSalsa Belga (2013)

In soundtrack music :

Mon P’tit Coco – Cie La Berlue/Cie l’Anneau, directed by Ariane Buhbinder – theater (2019)

Bruxelles-Brussel, Une Traversée Urbaine – Luc Jabon – full length documentary (2019)

Simon Pleure” – Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento – short movie (2018)

2h14” – Cie La P’tite Canaille, directed by Manon Coppée – theater (2018)

D’un palace un taudis” – Vincent Blairon – short movie ( 2018)

100% Bruxelles– Rimini Protokoll, produced by Kunstenfestivaldesarts – theater (2014)

Le Passeur” – Cie Domya, directed by Martin Goossens – theater (2014)

Ne Pas Toucher” – Vincent Blairon – short movie (2010)

Mosk” – Théâtre de l’étoile – theater (2006)

Boite B” – Babel – theater (2002)

Press

Press reviews

Here’s a selection of newspaper articles and reviews. More can be downloaded here.

Scores

Scores

Here you can download leadsheets of some of my compositions, hope you will enjoy them !
Don’t hesitate to contact me for any inquiries.

Those seven tunes are featured on my album “About Time” (IGLOO Records – 2021)

Those six tunes are featured on my album “Short Stories” (IGLOO Records – 2017)

Here are a few tunes you can hear on my YouTube channel, or in various places

Contact

Contact

Please, feel free to contact me.