For the last fifteen-plus years, Sam Oatts has cemented his reputation as one of the most sought after commercial/lead trumpet players in the United States in addition to being an experienced all-around player with extensive professional credits in classical, jazz, rock/pop, and world music. As an educator, Sam has given extensive masterclasses at the university level and recent appointments include Visiting Trumpet Faculty at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music (Spring ’21) and permanent trumpet faculty for the Lamont Summer Academy. He also has a private studio, coaches chamber music, and directs the Jazz Repertory Band at Arizona State University.
Born in the NYC area to Grammy winning parents in both jazz and classical music, Trumpeter/arranger/composer/multi-instrumentalist, Sam Oatts, found his love for music early while studying classical trumpet with members of the Metropolitan Opera and performing as a punk rock bassist in some
of the legendary gritty venues like CBGBs, the Continental, and Arlene’s Grocery, among others. As time and adulthood loomed, he gravitated toward his love for trumpet and since has toured to 35+countries and 49 of the 50 states as a multi-faceted trumpet player.
As a Broadway trumpeter, Sam has performed with many touring productions as well as on Broadway. Some highlights include performing with Billy Elliot, Chita Rivera, Chicago the Musical, Come Fly Away (Frank Sinatra musical), Fiddler on the Roof, and Annie. Most recent tours include lead trumpet with An American in Paris, featuring an all Gershwin score, and the international touring company of West Side Story with full orchestra. As a Denver local, Sam has performed lead trumpet with touring companies of Wicked, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and section trumpet with Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.
Sam has appeared with many orchestras including Colorado Symphony, Boulder Philharmonic, Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, National Chorale, Stamford Symphony, as well as holding principal trumpet position with the Connecticut Grand Opera from 2003-06 and section trumpet with the Verbier Festival Orchestra under James Levine and Valerie Gergiev in 2004.
As a chamber musician, Sam has played alongside and with the Canadian Brass, Summit Brass, and holds current positions with the Denver Brass and the ASU faculty Brass Quintet. 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 songwriter/arranger/musical services coordinator, Sam has worked with major label artists that include members of Coldplay, the Strokes, Kanye West, 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.
Recent masterclasses given at University of North Texas, University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, University of Denver, University of S. Illinois Edwardsville.
Education: Manhattan School of Music, BM 2004. University of Denver, MM (TA) 2020. Arizona State University, DMA (TA) ~2022. Main teachers include Mark Gould, Bob Sullivan, James Pandolfi, Alan Hood, Warren Deck, and Josef Burgstaller.
Sam is a Conn-Selmer/Bach and Fender Performing Artist.