You could say heavy metal and classic rock drove Farko Dosumov to jazz. As a teenager and fledgling musician in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Dosumov discovered rock music. Metallica, AC/DC and Led...
You could say heavy metal and classic rock drove Farko Dosumov to jazz.
As a teenager and fledgling musician in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Dosumov discovered rock music. Metallica, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin inspired his art and exemplified the style of playing he aspired to. Like the musicians he idolized, Dosumov played loud and fast.
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Before long, Dosumov was playing bass in various rock and heavy-metal bands in his hometown, dispensing a style of music that was heavy and intense.
At a particular band practice, all the thrashing and grinding proved too much for the equipment, which fizzled under the pressure. When Dosumov visited a friend’s apartment to get the band’s broken equipment repaired, he heard a jazz musician playing in a neighboring flat. It turned out the man was one of the finest jazz musicians in Tashkent, and soon Dosumov and his brother Fedor were learning about the history and playing style of jazz.
“Slowly I transformed from rock into jazz,” said Dosumov, 24. “I definitely found it pretty natural to me.”
And he’s never looked back. After arriving in the United States about four years ago, Dosumov moved to Seattle to study music and was soon playing with several local musicians. At a local jam session he met longtime Seattle musician Michael Gotz, and together they began collaborating on a jazz project that would become Tashkent.
The contemporary world jazz quintet features Dosumov on bass and Gotz on keyboards/guitars, vocalist/percussionist Etienne Cakpo, sax/flute player Jim Coile and drummer Greg Nickel.
The group is linked, Nickel said, by “our common interests to create something that is powerful and meaningful. We all seem to have a very unified intention to bring a positive message forward in the art that we are creating,” he said. “The Tashkent mode of operation is no stress and all positive.”
Q: How would you describe Tashkent’s sound in one sentence or less?
Dosumov: Original, contemporary world jazz.
Q: What’s your vision for Tashkent?
Dosumov: Definitely for me, (it’s) just to be original and bring my own style into this music.
Q: What’s it like playing with Tashkent?
Nickel: Well, it’s been musically, very liberating, being able to have a musical outlet that’s not just remaking (jazz) standards. We’re actually creating new tunes and new life by adding our individual voices, so the creative process of composition has been very exciting.
Coile: It’s very unique in that I’m able to draw on a lot of different kinds of styles. At the same time the collective style of this band forces me to contour my ideas in a different way and I think at times it requires a lot more discipline and simplicity.
Q: How does the group go about composing music?
Gotz: The way most of it has happened is that Farko and I will play something for three to four hours and it will develop into a kernel of an idea, a groove, maybe a melody. We will have three sections that we create by playing, then we bring that to rehearsal, and Greg shows us how to make it good. Then from that point we create as a band.
Q: Have you found audiences in Seattle receptive to your style of music?
Coile: We’ve had very good feedback. Borrowing from different cultures and styles, we are able to come up with music, the focus of which is very accessible to people. The word is just starting to seep out. There really isn’t a scene for what we’re doing. We’re not really a folk group, not really a typical jazz group. We’re a hybrid of the two.
Q: What inspires you as an artist?
Nickel: I try to find inspiration within the clarity of my voice, and if what I’m playing causes a reaction and what someone else is playing causes a reaction in me, that’s the basis of inspiration.
Q: As founding members of Tashkent, what’s most rewarding about this musical collaboration?
Gotz: The level of musicianship. I’ve been in good bands, but there’s an extremely high level of musicianship here, and there’s a sense of love that gives the whole project a goal. That experience of playing music and the collective group absorption is better than what can be said in words.
Dosumov: I’d say it’s the freedom of playing and writing music and just being happy.
Q: Looking down the road a few years, where would you like to be with your music?
Gotz: I’d like to be traveling, playing music to people all around the world.
Dosumov: I definitely hope that we will be making a lot of good music and recording a lot of CDs, traveling and playing for people, and making some really original, natural, new music.
Q: What do you hope people take away from the music of Tashkent?
Coile: What we’re trying to convey to an audience is that although this is very serious to us, it is very emotional music.
Gotz: I would love that people go away from the gigs a little higher.
Tina Potterf: 206-464-8214 or firstname.lastname@example.org