“Knee-deep in the pocket, as always, Abouzied and his cohort of high-demand Seattle funkateers certainly delivers with Baba, a get-on-your-feet, take-no-prisoners fusion explosion…Whether slow-jamming or bringing it uptown, Happy Orchestra’s enthusiasm will lighten the day of any listener willing to hear hard-working musicians having fun.”– Baba Review, Earshot Jazz
“Happy Orchestra in a way encapsulates the jocular personality of its creator and leader, blending overwhelming positivity with virtuosity, utilizing the talents of some of the top jazz and funk soloists on the west coast. While the music may express the intricacies of modern jazz expressionism, it never loses sight of its soulful, horn powered grooves, supported by the rhythmic virtuosity and leadership of Abouzied on drums.”– Baba Review, All About Jazz
Happy Orchestra, produced by drummer Tarik Abouzied, is an award-winning band that puts smiles on faces and brings nourishment to ears and minds. Its participants are drawn from the top shelf of Northwest musicians, capturing the talent of the area’s most highly regarded players. The band, voted Alternative Jazz Group of the Year by readers of Earshot Jazz, combines instrumental and compositional firepower with a determined effort at crafting an intensely happy musical experience.
“Smoking-hot music from top-notch talent.”– City Arts Magazine
Abouzied was awarded a 4Culture Arts Project Grant in order to develop, record, and perform with Happy Orchestra. The band was conceived from his gratitude and experiences as an established musical force in Seattle: “The level of talent in this city is astounding, the community built around that talent is as strong as I’ve ever seen, and contributing to that energy has been incredibly life affirming. … I want more, and so Happy Orchestra was born.” Their debut album, Baba, reached #5 on the KEXP NW Music Chart and was nominated NW Recording of the Year by readers of Earshot Jazz.
“Rocking soulful horn-powered grooves…”– Abe Beeson, KNKX 88.5FM Seattle
The genre-mixing sound of Happy Orchestra can best be described as “American groove,” an amalgam of the jazz, rock, funk, and soul birthed by American artists from the 60s through today. Listeners will recognize the refined groove of D’Angelo, the raw energy of Soundgarden, the synth-driven fusion of Weather Report, the syncopated tightness of Tower of Power, and other cues rooted in music that’s deeply imbedded in the subconscious of the American music-lover.
“The music gets intricate, but never loses sight of the gritty, soulful truth inherent in a deep groove.”– Earshot Jazz
Happy musicians include Abouzied, Skerik, Andy Coe, Damian Erskine, Tim Kennedy, RL Heyer, Thomas Marriott, Dan Balmer, Joe Doria, Hans Teuber, Stuart MacDonald, Neil Welch, Kate Olson, Mack Grout, Eric Finland, Ben Zwerin, Brad Shepik, Chloe Rowlands, Peter Daniel, Mark Mattrey, Farko Dosumov, Michael Van Bebber, Jory Tindall, Brian Monroney, Dean Schmidt and more. The band has shared the stage with Kneebody and Mark Guiliana, has performed in-studio at KEXP and KNKX, and if you’ve read this far I’m impressed.
The music is spectacular…an infectious sound that just makes you smile!”– Nancy Guppy, Seattle Channel