Tariqh Akoni has managed to pack an impressive and diverse array of experiences in his 25 years in the music industry. A perpetual student of the art, Tariqh has been a composer, producer, songwriter, studio musician, educator, musical director, multi-instrumentalist and clinician.
A native of Santa Barbara, Tariqh studied contemporary classical composition at the University of California at San Diego before pursuing a performance degree at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. A highlight of his experience at Berklee was his private studies with Jazz luminaries Jerry Bergonzi and Rick Peckham.
While Berklee occupied Tariqh’s days, his nights were spent earning his “10,000 hours” playing in the jazz clubs typically four sets a night, five days a week. During this period Tariqh first began touring internationally, living in Thailand, Indonesia and Korea before being introduced to legendary saxophonist Walter Beasley. Walter no only mentored Tariqh but encouraged him to expand his horizons and move out West to pursue his career.
Since moving to Los Angeles in 1997, Tariqh has amassed an extensive and eclectic resume. He has worked with such distinguished artists as: country singers LeAnn Rimes and Lee Ann Womack; jazz icons George Duke, Tom Scott, and Bobby Watson; pop artists Jennifer Lopez, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera and the Backstreet Boys; and classical artist Josh Groban. He has also appeared with a host of greats including Babyface, Al Jarreau, Herbie Hancock, Luther Vandross, Patti Labelle, Natalie Cole, Huey Lewis and the News, Nick Lachey, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire and many others. Most recently, Tariqh worked as Musical Director for Rock Superstars Weezer and Josh Groban and completed highly successful tours with Bette Midler, Stevie Wonder (including a performance at the Silver Jubilee concert for the Queen of England) and super producer David Foster (appearing in his DVD “Hit Man Returns”).
As an educator and clinician, Tariqh served as Chairman of the Guitar Department at the LA College of Music for 5 years where he wrote 10 books including their pedagogical series ‘String Theory’. In addition, he has conducted master classes and clinics internationally at the Guildhall Academy in London, Fermatta Music Academy in Mexico, USC, CSUN and the Berklee College of Music.
After living in Pasadena for 15 years, Tariqh returned to Santa Barbara in 2011 and while still a sought after Musical Director, studio musician and accompanist Tariqh has began focusing his energy on production, composition and artist development.