“His improvising skills are musical and soulful, with great build. His touch on the piano produces a full tone and he can be sensitive or highly energetic as needed. His technical ability is on a professional level.”
- Ayn Inserto
“Rarely have I met someone with such intense talent as Sam. His musical skills are of the highest caliber.”
- Steven Feifke
Sam Chandler is a dynamic and versatile pianist, composer, and educator from Duluth, Minnesota. A Ravinia Steans Music Institute Jazz Program Fellow and Berklee College of Music graduate, Sam has studied with Ayn Inserto, Billy Childs, Kenny Werner, Greg Hopkins, Rufus Reid, Ryan Frane, Yoko Miwa, Steve Wilson, Steven Feifke and Kevin Harris. He has played with Bijon Watson’s and Steven Feifke’s Grammy-winning Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra, the Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Berklee’s Billy Childs Ensemble, and the Berklee Jazz Composition Faculty Ensemble, in addition to various groups at venues including Wally’s Jazz Club, the Lilypad Inman, and the Cellar Dog in New York City.
Sam began classical piano lessons at age 5 with Denise Lindquist through the Suzuki Method. He later branched off into jazz when he studied with Ryan Frane, Director of Jazz Studies at University of Minnesota Duluth. This transition to improvised music allowed Sam to participate in several community and regional performing opportunities, such as the Duluth East High School Jazz Band (2019 winner of the Class AA Eau Claire Jazz Festival Large Ensemble Contest), the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Jazz Band 2017-18, Interlochen Center for the Arts' Jazz and Improvisation Camp, Shell Lake Arts Center's Jazz Camp, Owl's Club Big Band, and the Big Time Jazz Orchestra, an ensemble committed to providing the highest-quality jazz performances and educational opportunities to Northeastern Minnesota.
For two years, Sam was a tutor in Berklee College of Music’s nationally recognized Core Music Tutoring department, a peer-to-peer service where students receive help for their fundamental music courses at Berklee. He has served as a Teaching Assistant since 2022 at Interlochen Center for the Arts’ Jazz Piano Intensive, held annually in the summer. While in Boston after graduating, he also briefly held a teaching position at Page Music Lessons. He currently teaches piano at The Northerly School for Music in Duluth.
“I believe that anyone is capable of learning, playing, and enjoying music. It really is a force for good, and it’s a large source of joy in my life. I aim to share this enthusiasm with my students and audiences, no matter what kind of music I’m teaching or playing. Whether someone has experience or is a complete beginner, my goal is to foster a healthy relationship with playing the piano in a student, both physically and mentally/emotionally. Having no barriers, technical or otherwise, is true freedom, and it's an honor and pleasure to help students walk that path!”