Sam Barsh is a performer, through and through. Whether in dark and quiet trance-like ballads or explosive jams, Barsh’s intensity and deep connection to music always come through. He grew up in the Chicago area, and has been playing music since the age of 4, starting with piano, and expanding to organ, synthesizers, vintage keyboards, and melodica.
Barsh has been based in New York City since 2001. His own group, the Sam Barsh Band, features Tim Collins (Christian McBride, Buster Williams, Harvie S.) on vibes, Ari Folman-Cohen (Soulive, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe) on bass, and Jaimeo Brown (Stevie Wonder, A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, and Bobby Hutcherson) on drums, performing Barsh’s funky blend of jazz, R&B and slick ambient grooves. Their latest CD, I Forgot What You Taught Me, has just been released on Razdaz Records, the five year-old label founded by internationally acclaimed bassist/composer and band leader Avishai Cohen and his partner/manager Ray Jefford.
From 2003 through 2006, Barsh was a member of the renowned Avishai Cohen Trio. With Cohen, Barsh recorded three CDs and a live DVD, performed at many of the world’s biggest jazz festivals and received much international acclaim. Barsh also regularly works with violinist Zach Brock and the Coffee Achievers, with whom he has toured and made two records and an upcoming live CD/DVD.
Barsh has had the good fortune to perform with a diverse group of incredible artists throughout his career, including such R&B and pop hit-makers as 2008 Grammy nominee Emily King, Boyz II Men, Bobby McFerrin, and The Brand New Heavies, and such prominent jazz musicians as Cassandra Wilson, Bobby McFerrin, Robin Eubanks, Branford Marsalis, Lonnie Plaxico, Christophe Schweizer, Dave Samuels (of Spyro Gyra), Ku’umba Frank Lacy, The Mighty Blue Kings, Omar Edwards, Mino Cinelu, Rez Abbasi, Kenny Wollessen, Curtis Watts, Nguyen Le, Ben Monder, Hans Glawischnig, Todd Carey, and many others.
An avid songwriter, Barsh composed all 13 tracks on I Forgot What You Taught Me; additionally, he has been busy writing and producing R&B and pop songs with collaborators Curtis “Mega” Watts and Jesse Palter.
A Magna Cum Laude graduation of William Patterson University’s renowned jazz studies program, Barsh continues his dedication to music education by giving clinics at universities and high schools throughout the USA. His clinics focus on the building blocks for a successful musical career, giving equal attention to the both the business and general lifestyle aspects of the music industry. Past clinics have been given at: Yale University, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, University of Capetown (South Africa), Knox College (Galesburg, IL), LaGuardia Community College (Queens, NYC), University Preparatory Academy (Detroit, MI), The Drum Collective (NYC), Theodore Roosevelt Academy (Bronx, NYC) and public and private high schools throughout the USA.