“A phenomenally funky drummer, with taste, feel, and chops to spare, Abouzied elevates every band he’s a part of. With humor and humility, he achieves a deft balance, exploring the technical and intellectual challenges in music while still forging a deep emotional connection with the audience.” – Earshot Jazz
As a performer 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, Skerik, Natalie Cressman, Brian Haas, Will Bernard, Jessica Lurie, Nigel Hall, Mike Stern, Bob Franceschini, Damian Erskine, and many more.
“Forty-five years ago, Seattle trio McTuff would’ve been stars on Blue Note Records: guitarist Andy Coe, organist Joe Doria, and drummer Tarik Abouzied possess Olympian skills on their instruments…” – Dave Segal, The Stranger
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.
“Playing the most minimalist kit possible, he’s one of those jazz savants who is incapable of a dull moment. Thinly disguising ferocity behind understated, Zen power, he glowed with a satisfied grin while continuously lighting a fire beneath each of his bandmates. Given ample opportunity in the spotlight, there was one solo which definitely transcended what any drummer has ever achieved on the Crazy Horse stage.” – Show Review
Abouzied has also earned $8 from jokes posted on Facebook.