Associate Principal Trumpet, New Mexico Philharmonic. Trumpet Instructor, Grand Canyon University. Trumpet soloist on CBS Mornings (Monday-Saturday, 7am-9am. For clarification: CBS Sunday Morning is still Wynton Marsalis, and Sam is so honored to be in the same fold, playing the storied “Abblasen” fanfare on the same network with his hero).
Born in New York City to Grammy Award-winning parents in both classical and jazz music, Conn-Selmer Bach trumpet artist Sam Oatts was all but destined to become a musician fluent in many genres. During the day, he studied classical trumpet with members of the Metropolitan Opera, then at night headed downtown to the club circuit playing bass with punk rock bands.
Sam has since cemented his reputation as one of the most sought-after trumpet players in the United States with extensive international credits across 35+ countries and 49 US States in classical, commercial, lead, jazz, chamber, rock, pop and world music. He is also an in-demand songwriter, arranger, producer, musical services coordinator.
As Visiting Trumpet Faculty at University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music (Spring 2021), Sam directed a studio of classical and jazz performance majors from the bachelor’s through master’s level, coached chamber music, and instituted a masterclass series that featured guest artists from around the country. In addition, Sam and Joe Alessi were the featured soloists with the DU Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensemble.
Sam directed the Jazz Repertory Band at Arizona State University as well as teaching trumpet and chamber music to music education majors. He is also permanent trumpet faculty for the Lamont Summer Academy. In 2021, Sam gave masterclasses at University of North Texas, University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, University of Denver, University of S. Illinois Edwardsville.
As an orchestral musician, Sam has appeared with the Phoenix Symphony, the Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic, National Chorale, Stamford Symphony, and more. He was Principal Trumpet with the Connecticut Grand Opera from 2003-06 and section trumpet with the Verbier Festival Orchestra under James Levine and Valerie Gergiev in 2004. He recently won the Associate Principal/3rd trumpet position with the New Mexico Philharmonic.
As a lead Broadway trumpeter, Sam’s most recent tours include lead trumpet with An American in Paris, featuring an all-Gershwin score, and the international company of West Side Story with full orchestra. Other Broadway highlights include performing with Billy Elliot, Chita Rivera, Chicago the Musical, Come Fly Away (Frank Sinatra musical), Fiddler on the Roof, and Annie.
Sam has appeared as a soloist with The Denver Brass, Lamont School of Music Wind Ensemble, The Columbia/Barnard Chorus and Orchestra, and the Manhattan School of Music Baroque Aria Ensemble.
As a chamber musician, Sam has played alongside and with the Canadian Brass, Summit Brass, Phoenix Symphony Brass Quintet and held previous positions with the Denver Brass and the ASU faculty Brass Quintet.
As a songwriter/arranger/contractor/performer, Sam has worked with major label artists that include members of Coldplay, the Strokes, The Who, Darius Rucker, along with countless indie acts. The BBC praised his arrangements on a recent project as “wrapped in velvet strings, suave horns, and all around lush deportation…” In addition, Sam’s 2013 solo songwriting/recording project, Hudson Hank, was produced by Coldplay’s Guy Berryman to rave reviews and sold-out NYC performances.
Sam is a Conn-Selmer/Bach Performing Artist.