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“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, the Berklee Jazz Composition Workshop Orchestra, 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 five 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, Interlochen Center for the Arts' Jazz and Improvisation Camp, Shell Lake Arts Center's Jazz Camp, and the Big Time Jazz Orchestra, an ensemble committed to providing the highest quality jazz performances to Northeastern Minnesota. Sam is also a Board Member for JAM Duluth, a non-profit organization aimed at highlighting the vibrant Jazz community in the Twin Ports, along with providing students and professionals alike with paid performance opportunities.

 

Sam has served as a Teaching Assistant at Interlochen Center for the Arts’ Jazz Piano Intensive since 2022 and will continue as Faculty beginning in 2024. He was a tutor in Berklee College of Music’s nationally recognized Core Music Tutoring department for two years, a peer-to-peer service where students receive help for their fundamental music courses at Berklee. After graduating from Berklee, Sam also held teaching positions at Page Music Lessons in Boston and The Northerly School for Music in Duluth. He is continuing his education at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York earning a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media, with an emphasis in Jazz Writing.

 

“I believe that anyone is capable of learning, playing, and enjoying music. I aim to share my 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, and it's an honor and pleasure to help students walk that path.”

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