Sam Massey – guest leader, professional trumpeter, composer, arranger and teacher
Trumpeter, arranger, composer and educator, Sam Massey began his musical career playing the piano, thanks to his mum who taught him the basics. Early performances consisted of playing along with advert jingles and themes on the TV. Sam’s first ever piano lesson was pretty epic. He and some school friends won a music lesson in a raffle and duly turned up at the Yamaha music shop in Torre, Torquay, where they learned to play Mission Impossible – on all the black notes.
His love affair with jazz began at the SaMs Saturday Music school with Lewis Riley where the young Sam was captivated by the senior band playing the themes from Shaft, Bullett and oh yes, Mission Impossible. Soon he was a trumpeter in the junior band and loving every moment of it.
Sam comes from a very musical family. His mum plays the ‘cello as well as the piano, she and his Dad both sing, and his brother plays drums. From an early age, he knew he wanted to be a musician and write music. His inspiration comes from his all round jazz hero Clifford Brown whom he describes as the trumpet player’s trumpet player. He ‘s also a great admirer of Mike Westbrook, for ‘driving forward British jazz for over 50 years’. Sam has the pleasure of knowing and working with him.
Sam has played all over the UK and Europe in a variety of bands including Mike Westbrook’s Uncommon Orchestra, the Simmertones and his own seven-piece Sam Massey Ensemble.
When he takes a rest from his hectic schedule, his most played album is Standards and Ballads by Wynton Marsalis and his favourite track of all time is the opening of the Sweet Time Suite by Kenny Wheeler. But he also enjoys any good music, from orchestral to pop, with electronica, folk and film themes thrown in. No doubt Mission Impossible is in that mix somewhere!
Sam’s dream jazz line up with himself of course, would be Bob Reynolds (sax), Gwilym Symcock (piano), Laurence Cottle (bass) and Peter Erskine (drums). Preferably at the Royal Albert Hall!