Local officials attempt to kick out ‘Pike Street Drummer’ Chris Anderson

Apr 22, 2022, 3:08 PM | Updated: 5:55 pm
Cars at Pike Place Market...
Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. (Flickr Creative Commons)
(Flickr Creative Commons)

Chris Anderson, a street jazz drummer often performing across from Pike Place Market, is facing the wrath of nearby residents who want him and his music gone after years of bringing entertainment to the area.

“There’s possibly a residential complaint,” Anderson told Gee and Ursula on KIRO Newsradio. “And I just find that odd because you bought your luxury condo downtown to be a part of the downtown experience — the hustle and bustle of street life. You got it right at the No. 1 tourist attraction in Seattle, which is Pike Place Market, you kind of have to go with where you’re living.”

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The Department of Transportation Code Officer, alongside another individual in the department, six downtown city ambassadors, and a police officer, told the musician he can no longer perform at the corner he was currently operating on, according to Anderson. He stated that the department requested a permit from him in order to play where he was located, a location where he believes no permits are required.

“I think that I was just disappointed and hurt yesterday,” Anderson said. “Because I’m literally looking at the homeless and drug infestation problem, and the lady is telling me she’s the head of code enforcement. How am I at the top of your to-do list, for Thursday morning at 9 a.m.?”

Anderson, known as the Pike Street Drummer, cites that nearby businesses have no issues with his music and performances.

“I’m right under the Seattle Hospitality Group and the guy that runs that loves me,” said Anderson. “I play right smack dab in front of Starbucks and the district manager, who was at the incident yesterday, apologized on behalf of the city and gave me a Frappuccino.”

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It’s from residents, Anderson reiterates.

A lifelong musician, Anderson has toured across the country for two decades, playing alongside A-listers including Mos Def, Maxwell, Ghostface Killah, and 50 Cent. He currently has a partnership with the Seattle Mariners to play in the pit area.

“We felt that music can break down barriers,” said Anderson. “Once you break down those barriers, you can start the process of healing. And I wanted to do that in Seattle.”

Hosts Gee and Ursula theorized that street music and performances could possibly deter crime within the area, something Anderson agrees with.

“Me and the security staff at Pike Place Market, Yellow T-Shirt Company, and Starbucks, we all work with each other when it comes to booting dangerous homeless people out of the areas,” Anderson continues. “We all work together. And we’re helping as much as we possibly can. You know crime is bad here. But when you get to first, and you cross the street over into Pike Place Market, it’s an oasis.”

Anderson currently plays near Pike Place Market Fridays through Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Local officials attempt to kick out ‘Pike Street Drummer’ Chris Anderson