VIDEO: Student Bassist Tabari Lake

February 13, 2013

Acoustic bassist Tabari Lake grew up listening to calypso bands on the streets of St. Thomas. He loves how the bass pulls everything together.

Lake has always been fascinated with the music of the Virgin Islands, from the small calypso bands to the 200-piece steel orchestras. He began playing in his school’s steel orchestra in the third grade and played the clarinet and steel drums through junior high. When he moved into a FEMA trailer in his grandmother’s backyard in the seventh grade, he taught himself the electric bass in the hopes of joining a calypso band. He was invited to play bass with the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School Jazz Band while still in junior high, then received a scholarship from the Charlotte Amalie High School to attend the Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops. He went on to play electric bass in the school’s jazz and symphonic bands, as well as the clarinet in the marching band. He also opened for Tito and Marlon Jackson and performed alongside Ron Blake, Dion Parsons, and Rashawn Ross. He attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts summer jazz program for two years, where he first played the acoustic bass and performed with jazz drummer Peter Erskine, pianist Xavier Davis, and trombonist John Fedchock. He attended the Interlochen Arts Academy for his senior year, touring with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra to Detroit; Washington, D.C.; and New York.

Learn more about the Presidential Scholarship.