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As a student of Kareem’s for over 6 years I find it easy to say that Kareem is without a doubt one of the best jazz educators and jazz musicians on the entire west coast.  Over the years he has helped me grow an unbelievable amount.  When taking lessons with Kareem you can be sure that you are not missing a thing.  He covers every important detail and concept that you need to be a successful jazz musician or any type of musician.  Unlike most teachers who only teach at lessons, giving you the theoretical skills to being a musician such as the ability to read music, understand theory, and understand improvisation, Kareem delivers all of that at the highest level and also gives his students the opportunity to exercise and really get a grip on these skills in real life gig situations. Kareem always goes the extra mile to make sure you can get all you possibly can out of his teaching.  Over the years I have studied with Kareem he has constantly invited and encouraged me to sit in with his band and experience what it is like to play with a real band live on the bandstand.  This is really great because it gives you real playing experience and it also allows you to meet some of the really cool jazz cats and jazz lovers from the Tacoma jazz scene.  It is because of Kareem’s teaching and encouragement that I decided I wanted to play music for a living.  His instruction has helped me to become a strong enough player to be accepted into the All-Northwest Jazz band, State solo/ensemble contest, and William Paterson University as a Jazz Performance Major.

-Zach M.


Kareem is a dedicated and diligent musician and teacher.  He is able to share his love of music with students of all ages.  Not only is he extremely capable of teaching students the technical aspects of music, but his lessons incorporate a wider perspective as well, such as, listening to different genres of music and asking his students to discuss what they hear.  He is always positive and encourages students to do their best.  He has style and class and it is a privilege that two of my children can study under his tutelage.

-Robin J.


It is my pleasure to recommend Kareem Kandi as a Saxophone and Improvisational Jazz instructor.  My son, Zachary Miller, studied under Kareem Kandi for six years.  Kareem is a truly gifted saxophone player and instructor and has led my son down the road to success.   While studying with Kareem, Zach has developed from a sixth grader who didn’t practice, to the lead tenor in his high school jazz band.  He also participated in the State Solo and Ensemble contest, was selected for the All Northwest Jazz band, and has been accepted to William Paterson University with a Trustee Scholarship for Jazz Performance.

I believe Kareem’s support, encouragement and fantastic teaching skills are key to Zach’s success in music. Kareem has close ties to many active local jazz professionals, and he allows his students opportunities to join him onstage and experience performing improvisational jazz in a real world setting.   Zach’s confidence in public performance and his development as a musician were greatly improved by that exposure to live performance with professional jazz musicians.  Kareem is a true inspiration to all who work with him and any lessons undertaken are a very worthwhile and excellent investment, something no one could regret doing.

-Julie Miller


Kareem, is unorthodox in his teaching methods, he ensures that he connects on the students level to solidify what is being taught.  Kareem teaches everything from musicality, tone, and improvisation.  He will never ask you to something that he cannot personally do, his playing resume speaks for itself; playing with top talent throughout the Northwest.  If your seriously interested in taking your playing ability on any instrument to the next level, and are in the northwest area.  I would look up Kareem, as part of his lessons he allows his students to gain exposure by playing live and welcomes his students to play with him in performances he may have.

-Chris C.


Kareem is a great musician. He has a really great attitude and will help you along the way with whatever your trying to improve upon. I am constantly challenged and have felt my music theory improve by listening to what he has taught me and applying it to jazz improvisation. I recommend if your a student of music and he is teaching something you would like to learn to follow up on it. His approach will help you with what you need no matter what level your at.

-Alfredo K.


I’ve been taking lessons from Kareem for about a year now and it has been very helpful in music theory and getting a grasp on improvising. I like Kareem’s approach at keeping it simple and focusing on my learning needs I have and would recommend Kareem to anyone interested in private lessons.

-Sean B.


I’ve known Kareem since I was quite young and have had the privilege of watching him develop into the player he is today. He has studied with some of the very best musicians in our area, and gigs frequently, inviting students along in order to inspire, as well as expose us to the music scene. He has been my Jazz band director throughout college, as well as my private instructor. He makes it easy for you to pursue any style of music, and his versatility allows him to teach several different instruments. Apart from being a phenomenal musician and teacher, Kareem is a really cool guy. You’d be hard pressed to find another instructor like him. He can help you on a path towards significant improvement. Your gonna learn, and its gonna be fun!

-Daniel W.


I had the privilege of taking private lessons from Kareem for almost 8 years of my musical career in saxophone! I can say with the utmost confidence that the skills that were taught to me in those years have stuck with me even now. I started out in 5th grade band not knowing how to finger a single note, and went on to be competing in solo and ensemble competitions and now in college playing in the Oregon marching band. Kareem is well mannered and is one of most skilled musicians I know. He is always on time, professional, and has an attitude that makes you want to learn. With Kareem help I became the player I am today. I would highly recommend Kareem to anyone who has an interest in learning music (not just saxophone); from starting out 5th grader to college professional, Kareem has something to teach. You will definitely be glad to learn from him.

-Dylan D.


I am a bass player, and took lessons from Kareem for over a year. At first I was not very sure about taking lessons from someone who didn’t play the same instrument as me. But Kareem doesn’t just teach technique. He teaches musical concepts that can cross-over for instruments, and even genres.

First and foremost, Kareem is a real musician, and can live what he teaches. He is one of the best musicians around, and never ceases to amaze the masses.

He is also a big advocate of discipline and hard work and handles business very professionally. Ever since I started getting involved in the Tacoma music scene, Kareem has always been a great role model and mentor. He is one of the hardest working and most universally respected musicians I have ever met, and his example is a good one to follow.

One of the things I respect most about Kareem is his passion to teach, and how he earnestly wants his students to learn. I can’t even count how many times I called him randomly throughout the day (or night) to ask him a question I forgot to ask at lessons. Even if I left a voicemail, he always made sure to make time to call me back and answer whatever question I had.

His teaching methods also include many unique opportunities for young musicians that nearly no other teachers can offer. Throughout the last couple years, he has has hosted numerous open jams or shows where he encourages his students to bring their instruments and come play with the professional band. No matter the students experience level, he always made it possible for them to come up and exercise what they had learned in their lessons and practice. I firmly believe that Kareem’s weekly jams played a huge role in my musical development.

One last thing is that Kareem will give you the most bang for your buck. He never wastes time in lessons, and always has more to teach. He will always encourage you and push you a little further each lesson.

All in all, Kareem has been a huge influence in my musical career, and he has always been a good example, both through his music, and through his good character in every day life. If you are looking for private lessons, I believe that what Kareem offers is invaluable, and will not be easily found elsewhere.

-Jon Robinson


I have been taking lessons from Kareem for about two years now on tenor sax. His style of teaching and high level of engagement with his students provides a great environment to learn about your instrument and your abilities with it. Without his help, i would not be where i am today in both concert and jazz studies.

-Ian M.

Kareem was my piano teacher for about 6 years or so and he is was a wonderful teacher. Very patient and encouraging. I learned a lot and would definitely  recommended him to others.

-Jahira T.


Kareem is the man. I first met him while playing in the Pierce College Big Band–which he directs and  is a perrenial first place at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.  I studied with him for 6 months formally but over the past 2 years through his weekly jam session and mutual gigs he’s become a tremendous influence in my life.  Whether your a beginner on your axe or an aspiring jazz student of any level he is the instructor for you.
As an improvisor his main influences are Sonny Stitt, Dexter Gordon, and Joshua Redman.  For any jazz musician on any instrument he is a master instructor of bebop.  His overall playing versatility is solid but his forte is bebop.  He is simply a beast of bebop and can aptly guide you along the path of musical enlightenment.  Also, like most great jazz musicians his piano chops are excellent.

-Ryan T.


I’m a late bloomer saxophonist that took 3 months of lessons with Kareem back in 2005/2006. Kareem is an outstanding instructor who takes his students through music theory with patience and moves them up level to level as they progress. If not for my personal life changes and relocating to Seattle, I would be so much further advanced in my playing if I was still under his instruction. Keep up the good work Kareem!

-Dawud Hassan Mateen


I play trumpet, so I took jazz lessons with Kareem.
As a teacher, Kareem can provide the best experience for musicians at all levels and ages. Kareem has knowledge and experience to offer and has a way of presenting materials to students on an individual level to ensure the information is understood and absorbed.
Offers a very well constructed lesson plan for the student.
One thing Kareem offered (once we got to that level) for me to come out and sit in on a live gig session.
Always there for questions, very affordable, extremely worth your time and effort!

-Joby T.


Kareem has been teaching me since I was in fourth grade and I am currently in 8th grade, and man what can I say he’s as good as it gets! After two years I was in my middle school jazz band which is not easy for a person who has only been playing for two years. You, yourself will be able to see extreme progression with just a few lessons! Secondly, you must know that Kareem isn’t just a teacher he teaches at pierce college, a class at Sota the school of the arts which i hopefully will be attending and taking his class myself, also he teaches around 45 private students every week up to an hour a piece!, lastly he preforms with a staller jazz band of his own! he is extremely dedicated to the musical field.  If i were anybody reading this review and wanted to start playing any of his variety of instruments i would choose Kareem Kandi!

-Adam A.


I took lessons from Kareem for about 2 and a half years. His teaching is fantastic! One of the greatest things about the lessons is that he doesn’t just focus on one aspect of music, he is able to incorporate classic methods and ideas into jazz and vice versa so that you are playing at your best. He also puts a lot of focus on musical theory which really helped me to understand what I was playing and to not just run through the motions. Though the best thing that Kareem offers is help, if you have a question  he is always available whether by phone or e-mail to answer your questions. Kareem is a great teacher and very supportive of his students, I highly recommend lessons from him. Not only will the student learn more about his/her instrument but they will also learn about music in general and how it is put together and played.

-Michael S.


I took sax lessons with Kareem and he is a great teacher, especially if you want to learn about jazz. He made it fun and exciting. One of my favorite things about Kareem is watching his band play shows. He’s not just a really good teacher; he’s also an amazing player. Every time I go watch him play, I am always inspired to go home and practice.

-Bill M.


Kareem is a powerful instructor who brings total clarity to playing sax, from the mouthpiece to the fingering to the study of musical theory and scales to the integrity and definition of jazz itself. I studied with him for just a few months and learned more about music theory and different approaches to the tenor sax than I could have imagined possible. I had played years before and he not only got me back into it but put me way ahead of where I had ever been before. He is my tenor guru.

-Fred L.


My son is in his 4th year of clarinet lessons with Kareem. In that time, he has flourished as a musician. He has not only been praised from all of his conductors on his ability and technique; he has received superior ratings from all of his solo competitions, and has successfully auditioned and been accepted to the Tacoma Youth Symphony program. Best of all, he is passionate about and loves music. Kareem has been there to foster and reinforce him the whole way. Kareem is not only a gifted musician in his own right, he is a humble, gracious and wonderful role model.

-Kathryn W.


I took saxophone lessons from Kareem Kandi in 2003 and 2004. I was very impressed with not only his knowledge of music and music theory, but also his dedication to the music field. His patience and attention to detail were most impressive. Most of all he made learning fun and easy.
I would highly recommend him to anyone who is in need of a very easy going and knowlegable teacher!

-Chris Ryland

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