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Dave Samuels

Instrument: Mallet | AMT Products Used: VP2

Dave Samuels, with his distinct musical personality, has established himself as the top mallet player of his generation. He is recognized for his fresh new sound and creative approach to both the vibraphone and marimba. Dave has demonstrated his versatility and gained world wide recognition by performing and recording with a broad scope of artists ranging from Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Carla Bley, The Yellowjackets, Pat Metheny, Bruce Hornsby, Frank Zappa, The Fantasy Band, Spyro Gyra, Double Image and The Caribbean Jazz Project.

Throughout his career, Dave has been recognized by fans and critics alike for his quality in performance and recording. During his time with Spyro Gyra (1977-1994), the 5-time Grammy Nominated group was named #1 Contemporary Jazz Artist and Contemporary Jazz Group of the 80’s by Billboard magazine. Dave’s other awards include being voted Best Vibes Player in both Jazziz and Modern Drummer Magazine He received a Grammy in 2003 for “Best Latin Jazz Recording” with his group, the “Caribbean Jazz Project’s”, CD, “The Gathering”. In 2004 he was nominated a second time for a Grammy for “Best Latin Jazz Recording” for the “Caribbean Jazz Project’s” release “Birds of a Feather” and in 2005 was nominated an unprecedented third consecutive time for the “Caribbean Jazz Project’s” current release “Here and Now – Live in Concert” a 2- CD set of performances recorded at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild in Pittsburgh.

Born in Chicago, Samuels began his musical travels at age six, playing drums and piano. It was while attending college that he combined his interests in both drums and keyboards and began focusing his energies on the vibes and marimba.

Dave first gained international exposure in 1974 as a member of the Gerry Mulligan sextet. During the next few years he co-founded, recorded, and toured with three different, ground- breaking groups: Double Image; Gallery; and the Skylight Trio.

In 1976 Dave explored new musical horizons when he was invited to perform and record with Frank Zappa. The recording, “Live in New York – 1976, ” is considered a Zappa favorite.

Dave’s four solo recordings showcase his writing, performing and producing talents: “Living Colors” (MCA), “Ten Degrees North” (MCA), “Natural Selection” (GRP), and “Del Sol” (GRP) feature a variety of musical settings that include the Yellowjackets, Bruce Hornsby, Danilo Perez, Andy Narell, and Dave Valentin.

Dave’s recent energies have focused on the highly original sounding, “Caribbean Jazz Project, ” a sextet he founded in 1993. Six recordings have been made with this ground-breaking ensemble: “The Caribbean Jazz Project, ” “Island Stories, ” “New Horizons, ” “Paraiso, ” the Grammy-winning “The Gathering” the Grammy nominated, “Birds of A Feather.” and the most recent Grammy nominated live 2-CD set “Here and Now-Live in Concert.” This new recording explores the rich musical traditions of the Caribbean, where music from Africa, Europe and the Caribbean Islands first joined and spread its roots into North and South America .