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
See Performance Resume: