210 – Tarik Abouzied: Creative Projects in Post-Grunge/Post-Tech Boom Seattle, Cultivating a Global Audience Online
Tarik Abouzied has played and traveled with a vast array of incredible musicians. His groups have collectively produced seven original albums: two from Pocket Change, an instrumental funk septet in the vein of Tower of Power, three from Hardcoretet, a modern instrumental jazz quartet, one from McTuff, an incredible funk/jazz Hammond organ trio, and one from his current project, Happy Orchestra. Happy was awarded 4Culture’s Arts Project Grant and its debut album, Baba, reached #5 on the KEXP NW Music Chart and was nominated NW Recording of the Year by readers of Earshot Jazz. Aside from these groups, Tarik has performed with Victor Wooten, George Porter Jr., John Medeski, Chris Wood, Jeff Coffin, Brian Haas, Jessica Lurie, Nigel Hall, Mike Stern, Bob Franceschini, Damian Erskine, and many more.
As an educator Abouzied has led clinics and classrooms at universities and schools internationally. He was a coordinator and teacher for the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra’s Jazz Scholars Program, which provides free music instruction for low-income students, and was the Musical Director for Kentridge High School’s drama program, where he led a pit orchestra comprised of student musicians and professional section leaders. He maintains a private studio of drum set, guitar, bass, piano, and music theory students.
In this episode, Tarik talks about:
- The creative projects he’s involved with in Seattle
- Playing bass on pop/cover gigs, and drums on original gigs
- Seattle’s support for original/creative music and art at the government/corporate level
- Attending University of Washington, which was not a top-tier music school, but perfect for him at the time
- “The Amazon Effect”
- Amassing an audience online first, THEN booking and marketing a live show
- His blog posts and the role writing plays for him
- His take on the “low-paying-gig” debate
- An influential night with Dennis Chambers, Victor Wooten, and Bob Franceschini
Tarik Abouzied endorses Sabian Cymbals