Sam Reider and The Human Hands
Sam Reider is redefining American music on the accordion. He has performed alongside pop stars, jazz and folk musicians ranging from Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Sierra Hull to Venezuelan cuatro virtuoso Jorge Glem. On Too Hot To Sleep, Reider has assembled a “staggeringly virtuosic band” (RnR Magazine) of young acoustic musicians called The Human Hands.
Representation and Touring Formats
Representation: Exclusive – North America
Touring Formats: Sextet, Quintet, Quartet, Trio and Duo
Sam Reider is a composer, accordionist, pianist, and singer from Brooklyn, NYC.
Jazz pianist turned roots musician, Sam Reider is redefining American music on the accordion. He’s travelled extensively overseas as a musical ambassador for the United States Department of State, been featured at Lincoln Center and on NPR, and performed alongside pop stars, jazz and folk musicians ranging from Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Bluegrass mandolin prodigy Sierra Hull to Venezuelan cuatro virtuoso Jorge Glem. Reider’s debut record Too Hot To Sleep presents his unique compositional voice alongside an ensemble of top-drawer musical collaborators and compadres called The Human Hands: Alex Hargreaves on violin, Roy Williams on guitar, Eddie Barbash on saxophone, Dominick Leslie on mandolin, and Dave Speranza on bass.
Reider’s debut record Too Hot To Sleep presents his unique compositional voice alongside an ensemble of top-drawer musical collaborators and compadres called The Human Hands.
Reider grew up in San Francisco, the son of a musical theatre composer and klezmer musician. He began performing at a young age, and was interviewed on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on NPR when he graduated high school. At Columbia University, he fell in love with American folk music. While writing his senior thesis comparing the songwriting of Woody Guthrie and Ira Gershwin, Sam began studying bluegrass and old-time music, transcribing the fiddle melodies for the accordion and learning to sing the songs.
This set him off on a journey that has taken him from back porches and dive bars to concert halls and major festivals in practically every state in the country. Representing the U.S. Department of State as a musical ambassador, Sam has travelled to China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Turkey and Azerbaijan, carrying his accordion on his back everywhere he goes and collaborating at every opportunity with international artists.
Now he’s surrounded himself with a crew of some of the most in-demand young acoustic musicians on the scene in Brooklyn. The Human Hands have developed a cultish following and a reputation for mind-bending sets of high-energy, improvised music.
FolkWest’s Saturday Surprise: Sam Reider
“The performance of Too Hot to Sleep was not only an auditory feast, but a visual pleasure as well. These superb musicians passed and entwined complex material, changing tempo with ease. Their performance was scintillating.
I can imagine a wealthy man hiring these performers to woo the woman of his dreams.”
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|“The perfect distraction for insomniac bluegrass fans” – Songlines Magazine|
|“Too Hot To Sleep is simply stunning, one to get utterly lost in.” – Northern Sky Magazine|
|“A staggeringly virtuosic band” – RnR Magazine|
“It is always moving to see fellow musicians playing with such passion, thank you Sam Reider!” – Taraf de Haidouks
“He’s got rhythm. And for someone his age, plenty of soul, too.” – San Francisco Chronicle
“Dashes of folk influences from around the world are sprinkled into its string band aesthetic.. Reider’s accordion is the unyielding anchor, giving a dose of soulful, raw timelessness, but with a modern crispness and confidence.” – The Bluegrass Situation
Sam is a passionate and experienced educator who teaches with the same principles of integrity, creativity and discovery that he brings to his music. Sam has been a bandleader for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s highly acclaimed Jazz For Young People program since 2013, and has led hundreds of concert workshops in public schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Washington D.C., Memphis, Nashville, Chicago, Lafayette, Atlanta and New Orleans. Through his work with the U.S. Department of State, Sam has led concerts and workshops about American folk music in China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Turkey and Azerbaijan. Sam is a regular faculty member at the Stanford Jazz Workshop where he teaches his Future Folk Musik course each summer to hundreds of students.
Here are just a few examples of outreach and educational programs available. Sam can also customize a program to create a unique educational experience!
Roots of Freedom
Roots of Freedom is a 60-minute educational concert that explores leadership, democracy, and protest, through the lens of improvisation and American roots music. Through captivating performance and interactive activities, Sam and the Human Hands demonstrate how the structure of a band can be a model for a functioning, democratic society, how the blues provides a platform for self-expression, and how improvisation and active listening allow a collective to support a plurality of diverse voices. By mixing historical protest songs with contemporary themes, students are encouraged to consider how music can drive social change in their own communities.
Selected concert outlines are available here in PDF form:
Future Folk Musik
As a long time student and member of the Stanford Jazz community, Sam has been happy to be on faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop since 2014. He has led a variety of workshops and masterclasses ranging from Singing for Instrumentalists, to Jazz and Protest, to the Global Roots of Jazz.
Future Folk Music is a 60-minute educational concert that puts American roots music in conversation with major cultural themes of the last century and challenges students to consider the important role of music and art in the world of tomorrow. Sam and the Human Hands lead a musical tour beginning in New Orleans at the turn of the century up through rural Appalachia to New York City and the Harlem Renaissance. Through captivating performance and interactive activities, Sam will demonstrate how the structure of a band can be a model for a functioning, democratic society, how the blues provides a platform for self-expression, and how improvisation and active listening allow a community to support a plurality of diverse voices.
Selected concert outlines are available here in PDF form:
Sam and the Human Hands are also available to lead advanced workshops on jazz and bluegrass improvisation techniques for instrumentalists and clinics for bands.