At the age of 16, Ben IRIKS starts studying the guitar and solfeggio.
Through his brother Tom, he rapidly gets in contact with jazz, which becomes his main interest and inspiration.
The following year, he plays in the rock band of his brother, a band for which he already writes all the songs. The same year, he quits his classical guitar and solfeggio studies and starts studying jazz.
In secondary school, he studies a.o. jazz in the section "Arts" where he learns a lot and prepares himself to join the Antwerp Conservatory and its jazz department.
In 2000, he gets admitted at the Antwerp Conservatory, where he studies the guitar. He had the opportunity to study with well known Belgian jazz musicians, such as Erwinn VANN, Kurt VAN HERCK, Pierre VAN DORMAEL, etc....
During the first two years, his teacher was Hendrick BRAECKMAN and the following year, Fran?çois DECAMPS. He also took a composition course given by par Pierre VAN DORMAEL.
These last years, Ben IRIKS played with several bands, a.o. on the Antwerp jazz clubs scene, and in 2002, he formed his own QUARTET to play his own compositions, with Steven CASSIERS, drums, Janos BRUNEEL, bass and Lander VANDE NOORTGATE, alto sax.
In the summer 2003, he receives for his composition "Seasong" the PAB/BAP Prize of SABAM, in the context of the International contest of Jazz Hoeilaart 2003.
His musical interest has widened up during the last years, going from pop and rock to jazz, classical music and contemporary classical music.
He believes that there is good music in several musical idioms, so that it is good to remain open to various influences. As far as his own music is concerned, he says :
I'm trying to create a music that is as fresh as possible, not imitating the tradition but using it, transforming it and including new elements or ingredients coming from other traditions.
So it is music that follows that approach that interests me the most. People like Bill FRISELL, John ZORN, Dave DOUGLAS, Fred VAN HOVE, Misha MENGELBERG are models and show the improvised music lives on and keeps evolving.