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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Dave Kaufman

The quintet of the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire includes some of “the most sought-after players of [its] generation” (NPR). The ensemble includes the pianist Sam Harris, who is an expert in the art of “blur[ring] the edges, pushing the music towards an alternative centre of gravity” (The London Telegraph).

A native of Dallas, Texas, Sam’s early explorations of his instrument included parallel studies of both the Euro-American classical and improvisatory traditions. These formative studies, particularly under the pianist Bill Lohr, “instilled in him a sense of dedication to melody and taught him the importance of listening.” Sam moved to New York in 2004 to attend the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with the likes of Jason MoranGarry Dial, and John Riley. He has also honed his skills on the bandstand, performing with seasoned artists (and Jazz Gallery veterans) such as Ambrose AkinmusireLogan RichardsonGretchen Parlato, and Linda Oh.

On Thursday, Sam makes his fifth appearance as a leader on our stage with a group featuring the reedists Román Filiú and Ben van Gelder, the bassists Ross Gallagher and Martin Nevin, and the drummer Craig Weinrib. Sam writes, “Come join us for our last show in this very special space before The Jazz Gallery moves next year.”

In the meantime, check out this video of another iteration of Sam’s group performing “Identity,” recorded live a couple of years ago at The Jazz Gallery.