Samuels teaching a class at the Music School of Montevideo, 2010.
|Birth name||David Alan Samuels|
|Born||October 9, 1948|
Waukegan, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||April 22, 2019 70)(aged|
|Genres||Jazz, contemporary jazz, Latin jazz|
|Labels||Enja, ECM, MCA, GRP, Heads Up, Verve|
David Alan Samuels (October 9, 1948 – April 22, 2019) was an American vibraphone and marimba player who spent many years with the contemporary jazz group Spyro Gyra. His recordings and live performances during that period also reflect his prowess on the steelpan, a tuned percussion instrument of Trinidadian origin.
Samuels was born in Waukegan, Illinois. At the age of six he started playing drums and piano. He learned vibes and marimba while a student at Boston University. He continued his studies at the Berklee College of Music, also in Boston, and studied with vibraphonist Gary Burton. He taught percussion at Berklee before moving to New York City in 1974. Soon he was recording and performing with Gerry Mulligan, Carla Bley, and Gerry Niewood. He played in a vibe/marimba duo with David Friedman, who had been his teacher at Boston, releasing albums under the name Double Image.
In 1979 he began recording with Spyro Gyra, eventually becoming a member of the band in 1986 and remaining with it through the 1990s. During the 1980s he also recorded with Paul McCandless, Art Lande, Anthony Davis, and Bobby McFerrin. In 1993 he created the Caribbean Jazz Project.
Samuels wrote columns for the magazines Modern Percussionist and Modern Drummer, a method book, and made an instructional video. He taught at Berklee and at the New England Conservatory of Music.
Samuels died on April 22, 2019, due to an undisclosed long-term illness.
With Spyro Gyra
With Caribbean Jazz Project
With Double Image
With Gerry Mulligan
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