I enjoy working with musicians through arranging, studio work, performing or organizing and promoting events. I have extensive experience working as a studio musician with vox, violin and percussion on over twenty studio albums. I've had the privilege to work with artists including Chris Bathgate, Lasso, Maraj, Elisabeth Pixley-Fink, The Soil & The Sun, Ira Cohen, Pat Carroll, Fiona Dickinson, Graham Parsons, May Erlewine, Breaker, The Sacred Strays, The New Green, SITA, Tim Lowly, Allie Stringer, Mike Cohen and BOWHUNTER among others. Please see the Recordings and Videos tabs for examples of my work. Please Contact Sam to receive quotes for studio work, composition, arranging, performance or accompaniment.
I completed a Social Ecology degree from the Lee Honors College at Western Michigan University. During college I coordinated WMU's Gibbs House for Environmental Research and Education (GHERE) and co-directed a not-for-profit skill-sharing collective called The Naked Seed. After college, I worked for WMU's President's Sustainability Committee and co-led a campaign catalyzing the revolving Student Sustainability Fund, which supports student-led sustainability initiatives and WMU's new Office For Sustainability. I also co-founded and co-produce Square Dance Kalamazoo, and I'm a board member of the Patrick J Carroll Memorial Endowment. Please contact me if you'd like me to consult or collaborate with your business or organization.
Banquet & Wedding Musician
I synthesize over 25 years of musical experience to create custom arrangements for ceremonies, weddings, receptions, holiday parties, church services and additional events. I offer both traditional or genre bending styles from contemporary, pop, classical, jazz, folk and fiddle music. I'm available for solo string and vocal performances and will coordinate duets, trios and quartets upon request. Rates vary depending on travel, performance length, staging requirements, ensemble, custom repertoire selection and prep time. Please contact me to schedule a consultation.
"Circle Singing" Workshop
Musical improvisation is one of the most fun practices I’ve found. I developed a workshop full of improvised music activities with circle singing and body percussion games. Circle Singing is a vocal improvisation practice where singers adopt or create layers of text-less melodic and rhythmic phrases. Rhythmic repetition & chant-like structures create a circular soundscape to experiment in. The basic elements include movement, active listening, & using your body as an instrument. No singing experience necessary, this is a mistake free zone! To close, I'll facilitate a discussion on the healing components of these practices and their tendency to jumpstart authentic creativity. Participants will leave lighthearted with tools to jumpstart themselves and their communities.
"Old-Time Harmony Singing" Workshop
I draw on a life of community singing with my own family, and workshop experience with greats such as Evie Laden and Michael Ismerio. This workshop breaks down two and three-part harmony singing styles with simple accompaniment. Repertoire includes old-time country tunes and southern gospels that are infectious and easy to learn. You'll come away with a couple songs under your belt, and the skills to practice & teach back.
No matter what your skill level, I'll help you become more comfortable with your instrument and get more joy out of it! I've been playing since I was around this age (to the left) and I've learned a few tricks since then. I can help you with the basics and give you bow patterns to practice. I can also help you build repertoire and improve technique if you're more advanced. Please contact me for details.
The Enneagram is a dynamic discourse rooted in various wisdom traditions and enriched by modern psychology. This system explores the "excavation & recovery of the true self." The Enneagram has been called a personality continuum, an internal mandala or a periodic table of the self. If practiced with presence, this discourse builds discernment between egoic and authentic motivations and helps you reclaim authentic freedom & creativity. I am a student of the Rido/Hudson Enneagram Institute and I currently have a Part One certification. I have also studied this discourse with Mike Cohen through completing his 12' Life 2.0 monthly program, and I've taken Michael Naylor's "Enneagram & Recovery" intensive. My workshops are facilitated in the social learning tradition and can be tailored to individuals, businesses, organizations, artists, youth and people in recovery among others. Workshops vary in length depending on interest. Please contact me for details.