“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 a performer Tarik Abouzied has played and traveled with a vast array of incredible musicians. His groups have collectively produced six original albums: two from Pocket Change, an instrumental funk septet in the vein of Tower of Power, three from Hardcoretet, a more modern instrumental jazz quartet, and one from McTuff, an incredible funk/jazz Hammond organ trio. His current project, Happy Orchestra, was awarded 4Culture’s 2015 Arts Project Grant and will release its debut album Baba this fall. Aside from these performing groups Tarik has played with local and national greats including Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band), Skerik, Brian Haas, Jessica Lurie, Nigel Hall, Mike Stern, Damian Erskine, Joe Doria, Thomas Marriott, Tim Kennedy, Andy Coe, Evan Flory-Barnes, and many others.
“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 an educator Abouzied has led clinics classrooms at Cornish College for the Arts, Western, Whitman, and Central Washington Universities, and colleges, high schools, and middle schools internationally. From 2008-2014 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 also 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.