rob tardik
by Bernie Scott

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Rob Tardik is an award winning guitarist (2010 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards,) and was selected as a presenter at the 2010 American Smooth Jazz Awards, in Chicago.  He is a writer, producer, teacher and mentor.  He has four CDs to his credit, with his latest “Limitless” being released in Canada in June, and the rest of the world in July.  It was great to speak again with Rob, to find out just what makes him tick, and the future plans for this incredible artist.

SmoothViews (SV): Rob, You are the kind of person who has never known a stranger.  You always make people feel comfortable the moment they meet you.  Tell me a little about this quality that you possess.
Rob Tardik (RT): (Laughing) Well, I really like people, and it is so easy to connect with people, especially though music.  Music touches everybody’s lives.

SV: Tell me a little about your background, living in Southern Ontario.  Are you originally from Toronto?
RT: Yes, I am originally from Toronto, but my family is from Hungary.  I am very proud of my Hungarian heritage.  As you know, I come from a family who loves music.  My grandfather was a musician back in Hungary—a guitar player, who played the circuits, much like we do today.  My father plays the trumpet.  I started out on the accordion, but when I was seven, my father bought me a cheap acoustic guitar, and I started playing that.  I still have the guitar, and I will never part with it.

SV: Rob, what kind of music did you listen to as you were growing up?  Was there any particular type of music that changed your perspective on music?
RT: Well, like any kid from my generation, we were stuck with vinyl records and a record player.  I started out with Sesame Street records.  My mother loved ABBA, and I listened to that quite a lot.  Then, as a young teen, I listened to Kiss.  You see, my parents had a huge record collection of all types of music, from rock and pop, to country and jazz.  They loved all kinds of music, so I had a great influence from all genres.  I still like all kinds of music, regardless of the genre.

SV: On your CD B.E.L.L. Balance, Energy, Laughter, Love, you have a great track that you recorded with Paul Brown, called “East Meets Wes.”  Obviously, Wes Montgomery was a great influence on your guitar playing.  Tell me how this came about.
Well, as I told you, my parents had a huge collection of vinyl records.  While I was listening to one of the records, I couldn’t help but notice the style of the guitar playing.  I looked inside the album jacket to find the name of the guitarist.  There was the name, Wes Montgomery.  He was a tremendous influence on my style of music.

SV: Your fourth album, Limitless will be released soon.  Tell me about the awesome album cover, some of the artists performing, and what we can expect in the near future.
The photo on the cover was shot in Canada during an aurora borealis, by photographer John Highland.  The colors are natural, except for the light shining out of the door.  Limitless is about giving back, and the open door signifies that there IS no limit to that.  In fact, there is a cut on the CD titled Givin’ Back.  Life is all about giving back. I wrote all the music on the CD, and Steve Oliver has produced a few tracks.  I actually wrote more songs than were put on the CD, so there will be a continuance for the next one.  You will find some guests such as Vincent Ingala, Phillip Denny & Gabriel Mark Hasselbach.  I love the interaction when bringing in other artists.

SV: Finally, Rob, teaching is very important to you, and I understand that you have been an educator for over 17 years.  Where do you teach and what do you teach?
I teach music at two schools.  The school I have taught at for the past 17 years is the Merrion School of Music.  I also teach at Metal Works.  It is such a rewarding career.  There again, it is about being active in the community, and giving back to the community.  One of the biggest rewards came when a 15 year-old student came up to me to say “thank you.”  At that time, I knew I had made a difference.

SV: Rob, it is always a pleasure chatting with you, and I wish you continued success on your wonderful career and your new CD Limitless.

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