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MoPOP Sound Off! 2022 - Meet the Artist: Sam Ashkenazy

MoPOP’s Sound Off! gives up-and-coming artists mentorship from industry leaders, entrée into an artistic community invested in their growth, connections with peer musicians, and the chance to showcase their original music in MoPOP’s iconic Sky Church venue.

This years’ three live showcases — set for February 19, February 26, and March 5 — raise the bar for an all-ages show with a first-class experience at MoPOP for performers and the audience alike.


Sam Ashkenazy is a singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist with a deep passion for songwriting and performing. Growing up in Seattle, Washington, Ashkenazy began performing his own music live at the age of 13 with influences in jazz, rock, funk, hip hop, and blues music.

We took some time to get to know Sam Ashkenazy ahead of the artist's Sound Off! 2022 performance on March 5 at MoPOP. Check out what they had to say!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background as an artist!

Sam Ashkenazy: "I'm Sam Ashkenazy, from Seattle. I started playing guitar when I was about nine-years-old. Then performing at dive bars in Seattle at about 14 and kind of just kept doing that, playing some college shows in U-Dub. I really fell in love with performing and writing music and just being around musicians and creative people. That's kind of what brought me here."

How did you find out about Sound Off! and what was your reaction when you found out you were going to be part of this year's showcase?

Sam Ashkenazy: "I went [to Sound Off!] for the first time in 2014, so I've definitely been seeing it for a while. I applied a few times over the past decade. It was cool to get in. It was probably my third time applying or so, and I'm super psyched. I'm 21, so it was my last year eligible. It's going to be a super fun opportunity. I think that these kinds of things are really important because a lot of young people that are artists don't really have a place or a platform to put their thoughts and ideas out there. So it's really enforcing to that group of people, especially."

Sam Ashkenazy - MoPOP Sound Off! 2022

Sam Ashkenazy (right)

What role does community play in your music?

Sam Ashkenazy: "It's everything. I wouldn't be doing anything without a community and I think it's really important to help each other out and make sure everybody's growing and getting better. That's what community is."

Having performed in Seattle before, what have noticed about our region's music community?

Sam Ashkenazy: "It's definitely a jungle, but everybody's really supportive of each other. I think there are some really interesting people in this community, and I think they really do support the younger people a lot as well, helping them kind of get up there. That's kind of what I've experienced."

How would you describe your sound?

Sam Ashkenazy: "I would say it's like pop music mixed with some funk jazz, some blues rock."

Why do you make music?

Sam Ashkenazy: "It makes me feel a lot of things and I do it because I have to. That's really simply put, but it feels like a lifestyle. I wake up every day and that's all I really want to do, and I know I'm going to be doing it until I drop, so it's really fun. Makes me feel good. I like seeing people excited about music and art as well."


We know you may be curious about health and safety protocols, so here are the extra steps we’re taking for these in-person Sound Off! showcases in our 140,000 square foot museum:

  • Performers will be separated from the audience by a 20-foot buffer. 
  • All guests 12 years and older will be required to show proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to the event. 
  • Masks are required for guests 3 years and older. 
  • Please only bring what you need as coat check is currently closed. 
  • There will be no concessions sold during Sound Off! events. Please come hydrated and consider eating before you arrive. 
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout the museum. 

More information about our COVID policies is available on our website.

Can't attend the live Sound Off! showcases this year? You can still support MoPOP's youth artist development programs by making a gift.


Special thanks to our Sound Off! community partner KEXP.

Learn more about Sound Off! 2022 + for contests, the latest news, and behind-the-scenes content, be sure to follow us on YouTubeFacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

If you like what you see, support our work by making a donation or planning a visit to our nonprofit museum today!

Music, Sound Off!

About the author

The Museum of Pop Culture’s mission is to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities.