The son of a nomadic family, Tristan Driessens traveled throughout Southern Europe during much of his youth. In Spain, he became acquainted with Sephardic and Andalusian music and first came in contact with the oud.
Between 2009 and 2012, he lived in Istanbul where he trained with the legendary oud master Necati Çelik. Back in Belgium, he earned master degrees in oriental lute at the LUCA School of Arts (Lemmens, Leuven) and musicology at the ULB (Université Libre de Belgique).
Inspired by the wide range of possibilities that the oud offers, Tristan Driessens travels throughout Europe with diverse ensembles. He regularly collaborates with artists like Kudsi Erguner, Dick Van der Harst, Tcha Limberger, Emre Gültekin, Arianna Savall and Derya Türkan, among many others.
He is the founder and artistic director of the Lâmekân Ensemble, a Turkish-Belgian collective started in 2011, which has been a breath of fresh air for the music of the Ottoman Empire.
From 2016 to 2020, he has worked as an oud player and artistic director for Refugees for Refugees, a widely celebrated ensemble founded in Brussels by world music organization Muziekpublique.
In the same year he established Seyir Muzik, an association that organizes master classes and is also very active as a record label.
Tristan Driessens (1982) is a Belgian born oud player and artistic director. He is regarded as one of the finest performers of the oud in Belgium nowadays, creating a style entirely of his own. He hold a master degree in Musicology (Université Libre de Bruxelles) and a master degree in lute (LUCA, Lemmens). From 2009 to 2012, he journeyed in Istanbul where he studied makam under grand master Necati Çelik, who had a great impact on his career. Additionally, he attended master classes with Kudsi Erguner (Bîrûn Ensemble, Venice), Yurdal Tokcan (Labyrinth Musical Workshop, Greece) and Naseer Shamma (Beit al-aoud, Cairo).
Over the last decade, he toured intensively with numerous music, theatre and dance companies throughout Europe and the Middle-East, most notably Balacordes, Berlin, Duo Leemans-Driessens, Theater De Spiegel, Amorroma and Nathan Daems Karsilama Quintet. He is the artistic director of the much celebrated Lâmekân Ensemble, which he founded in 2011. The group released three critically acclaimed albums so far and enjoyed sharing the stage with the greatest representatives of Classical Turkish music, most notably Derya Türkan, Kudsi Erguner, Necati Celik, Murat Aydemir, Bora Uymaz and Burcu Karadag.
In 2015, in order to shape his eclectic musical references in a set of newly wriiten compositions, he created the Tristan Driessens Soolmaan Quartet.
In 2016, Tristan founded the Seyir Academy, a Brussels based music Insitute for Turkish and Mediterranean studies that organises seminars, master classes, concerts and weekly ‘ûd lessons. In the same year, Belgian world music association Muziekpublique asked him to be the artistic director of the Refugees for Refugees world music group.
As a musicologist, he concentrates his research mainly on makam, which is the classical music system of the Middle-East. He is currently preparing a book that will provide an analysis of makam through transcriptions of modal improvisations (taksîm) performed on the oud.