has long been regarded as one of the world's
great musicians. As one of the world's leading
percussionists he has played on countless
records, providing the rhythmical framework for
hundreds of hits. Well-known for his versatility
and professionalism, he is one of the few
percussionists equally comfortable in a
multitude of styles, from R & B to rock to
pop to bebop to Latin to Brazilian to New Age.
As one of New York's most sought after session
players Sammy played on countless albums,
jingles and film scores and appeared often on
The David Letterman Band and the Saturday Night
Live Band. He has recorded and toured with Miles
Davis, the Brecker Brothers (for 12 years!),
Sonny Rollins, Michel Camilo (who wrote the tune
'And Sammy Walked In' in his honor), Chaka Khan,
David Bowie, and Mariah Carey (in her
multi-million selling MTV Unplugged). Sammy's
famed sense of humor, ebullient personality, and
open-heartedness is famous within the music
industry and has further empowered him in his
connection with musicians and audiences alike.
As leader of The Latin Jazz Explosion, Sammy
empowers his players and has created an ensemble
that is astounding in its musical excitement.
His first album, "And Sammy Walked In" (on
Savant Records), co-produced by longtime
production partner Rachel Faro, included music
by Michel Camilo and Hermeto Pascual. His second
album, "The Magician", (also on Savant Records),
again co-produced with Rachel Faro, features
spectacular original compositions by Venezuelans
Silvano Monasterios and Gabriel Vivas alongside
jazz classics such as Seven Steps and Cedar
Walton's Firm Roots. Both albums received GrammyNominations
for Best Latin Jazz Album. His third album,
"Urban Nature", mainly original compositions by
Monasterios and Vivas, further explores the
connection between Latin rhythms and complex
modern jazz, with offerings ranging from the
complex 'Gufillo' to the poetic lyricism of
'Zuliana' to the swinging salsa of Mongo's 'Cuca
In 2010, 'just for fun', Sammy developed a
second band, Sally's Tomato, an exciting tribute
to the music of Cal Tjader. With the blessings
of Tjader family, this band caught on instantly,
magnetizing a devoted fan base of its own with
its breezy tropical, retro sound. This band has
played everywhere from New York's Iridium club
to many corporate events.
In 2014 Sammy released a new album, 'Talisman',
a special collaboration with Brazilian singer
Glaucia Nasser, also produced by Rachel Faro.
This album brilliantly combines the rhythms of
Latin percussion with the beauty of Brazilian
song. The Talisman group toured the U.S. East
coast in late 2014.
Sammy is currently working on his fourth album
"imaginary World", to be released in June 2015.
All signs indicate that this album will not only
be his best yet but will be a benchmark for
Latin jazz recordings. Co-produced by Rachel
Faro and American Idol musical director Ray
Chew, the tracks combine a highly complex and
challenging Latin approach with a classical
sense of beauty. This music was recently
introduced at Sculler's Jazz Club in Boston and
received extended standing ovations and encores.
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