Pianist and composer Tarek Yamani is an NYC-based Lebanese jazz pianist musician who explores the relationship between jazz and Arabic rhythms. In addition to his musical interests, Tarek is also an educator, a writer, and has composed for film. The New York-based artist has won several awards such as the Thelonious Monk Jazz Composers Competition, and has performed in widely-regarded venues such as the Smithsonian Museum, the Gran Teatro de la Habana, and even the United Nations General Assembly in New York. His music has been critically acclaimed by several publication including CNN, The National, Time Out, and Le Monde. Tarek founded a festival, Beirut Speaks Jazz, in 2013 as an effort to raise awareness about jazz in Lebanon. The festival is an amalgamation of rock, hip-hop, pop, tarab, and blues artists all of which join-forces with a jazz band culminating in an exploration of new musical grounds. We sat down with Tarek Yamani ahead of his set at D-CAF and listened to him discuss bringing his Arabic heritage into jazz, and the relationship between tradition and contemporaneity.