Samuel Smith is a bassist from the Syracuse, NY suburb of Skaneateles. He began his musical training at the age of 5 when he began taking piano lessons. He loved playing piano, but it all changed when first picked up the upright bass at 8 years old. It was introduced to him by his elementary school orchestra teacher, Terry Squires.

He began studying classical bass with Mr. Squires and continued lessons with him for a year until he began taking lessons with Adam Carkey. He continued to take lessons from Mr. Carkey until around the end of

middle school. During this formative period of his life, Sam’s love for music only increased with

his family bringing him to concerts at the Chautauqua Amphitheatre in Chautauqua, NY,

to local jazz performances, and to performances by the Syracuse Symphony. These concerts

were some of many that were inspirational for Sam's development.


It wasn’t until age 12 that Sam discovered his love for jazz. Skaneateles Middle School band

director, Dave Wilbur noticed Sam's talent and encouraged him to join an introductory jazz

ensemble at school. Sam quickly demonstrated a proficiency and love for the genre. He was

eventually asked to audition for the full ensemble at school.Mr. Wilbur also directed him to the

contact of Joe Columbo,a trombonist and educator in the area, who gave Sam his first gig with

the Lemoyne College/Young Lions Jazz Ensemble where he met his future band mates,

Jake Ford (guitar) and Scottie Madonia (drums). That year, he also attended many

jam sessions and workshops that CNY Jazz Central put on, as well as attended multiple

concerts/gigs of area jazz musicians. While attending these workshops, he met another

future band mate, pianist William Gorman.


At age 13 and 14, Sam began playing his first gigs in Syracuse with Scottie, William, Jake, and briefly with saxophonist Alex Hartwell. They went under the name, William Gorman Jazz Combo and played at various events and venues, such as the Red House Café, around Syracuse. In the summer before ninth grade, Sam attended his first summer of jazz camp at Skidmore Jazz Institute as well as at the CNY Summer Jazz Workshop. These experiences really allowed Sam to see his future as a musician. After a great summer of jazz, him and the William Gorman Combo and Sam were given the opportunity to perform at the Landmark Theatre in front of a very large audience on Carrie Lazarus’ Extraordinary Live. They loved every second of it and it gave them even more drive to excel in jazz.


With all of these experiences in jazz, Sam continued his classical career as well with taking

lessons from Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra bassist, Ed Castilano, joining the Syracuse

Youth Orchestra, and making All-County Orchestras. However his focus remained on jazz

with taking lessons from area bassist, Daryl Pugh, attending more jazz camps during the

summers such as the Eastman Jazz Camp and Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony, and starting

a new band with Scottie and Jake, called NOTEified. NOTEified became Sam’s main focus

in high school, and with the additions of Rich Bostick (piano), Dunham Hall (sax),

David Millen (guitar), and Nick DiMaria (trumpet), the band quickly excelled in the

Syracuse area. They began gigging frequently at restaurants and at festivals in the area

and continued to do so throughout high school.


After graduating high school in 2016, Sam took his studies to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts on scholarship where he now studies Bass Performance and

Music Business/Management. Being at Berklee has allowed Sam to

grow his versatility in multiple styles of music, given him industry

knowledge, and has given him the tools to improve both his

upright bass playing and his electric bass playing. He is currently

mastering his bass playing under the private instruction of Linda Oh 

and Susan Hagen, along with the teachings many

other renowned musicians such as Neal Smith, Jason Palmer,

John Pattitucci, John Lockwood, Steve Bailey, Bruce Gertz, and

many more. 

See Performance Resume:

© 2018 by Samuel Smith

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