Tarik Bentlemsani, former South Puget Sound Community College student and local guitarist, has dedicated 12 years to learning the guitar and continues to practice two hours a day.
Annelise Tuttle: What inspired you to become a guitarist?
Tarik Bentlemsani: To narrow it down: the experience of making music in school and with friends as a youth made me want to play music for a living.
AT: How do you feel playing the guitar has influenced your life?
TB: Playing the guitar and music in general has given me a positive outlook on life and taught me the importance of hard work.
AT: How would you define your style or genre of music?
TB: As a guitarist I am called upon to play many different styles. My training is classical and jazz, but I have played rock, funk, bluegrass, punk, metal, and some styles you couldn’t categorize. I try to be as versatile as possible.
AT: Do you have goals for your music? If so, what are they?
TB: Some personal goals are to make a comfortable living as a musician, record a solo album and tour the world! Some higher goals are to make people feel good with my music and though it is a cliche, to unite people and bring peace through music.
AT: Do you ever get nervous before performing? If so, what helps you overcome it?
TB: I used to get performance anxiety a lot, but not so much anymore. The more you perform the more you get used to it. It also helps to be very prepared. Practicing performing is a must.
AT: What advice can you give to aspiring guitarists?
TB: Practice every day at the same time, Practice efficiently(If you can, get a good teacher), play with musicians who are better than you as much as you can. With music, you will get out what you put in to it, just like anything else. Don’t listen to naysayers and of course, don’t give up!
AT: What upcoming shows or performances do you have?
TB: This Friday, April 20 , I will be playing in Seattle at the Tractor Tavern with The Brown Edition. I will be at the Olympia Farmers Market with Momenti Rubati April 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Later that night I will be playing solo At Alforno Feruzza from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. I also play every Friday at Traditions Cafe from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and at Alforno Ferruza every first Friday and third Saturday of the month from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.. The Brown Edition is a party band that gets people dancin’ playing funk and soul. Silo is like fun Progressive Rock or Jazz fusion.
AT: When and where are you playing at Arts Walk?
TB: On Arts walk I will be playing Friday April 27 in front of Capital City Guitars with my new project called Silo from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday April 28 the Brown Edition will be playing the Royal Lounge from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. after the Procession of the Species.