spring 2023

Holy cow! My favorite season is here! Baseball season! Some exceedingly exciting performances over the last couple months with the Phoenix Symphony, New Mexico Philharmonic, Phoenix Theatre Company, and the AZ Opera have kept me vibrantly sleep deprived- but I’m excited to be approaching the end of the semester and seasons to get back to writing and recording over the summer. I may even showcase my newly acquired finger picking acoustic guitar skills I have worked on throughout the pandemic! I have to muster up some courage in the meantime…

The biggest recent event was meeting and playing for Gayle King as she received the 39th annual Walter Cronkite award at ASU. She was moved enough to feature some of my career highlights on CBS mornings the very next morning. She even called me to let me know- a beautiful gesture that I will carry with me. It reminds me of how magical and connecting a life in music can be, and it has left me inspired, humbled, and f***ing motivated!!!! Let’s go!!!! Here’s the clip:

Some upcoming performances worth noting:
-Lead trp with An American in Paris at the Phoenix Theatre Company: March 4th @2pm, March 9th @7pm

Sound of Music w/AZ Opera: March3,4,5 in Phoenix, March 10, 11 in Tucson, AZ

-Pops show w/ AZ Musicfest Festival Orchestra (Scottsdale, AZ): March 10, 11

– Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloë suites 1 and 2 W/ NM Phil (ABQ): March 18th

-Debussy’s La Mer w/ PHX Symphony: March 24-26

-Featured Clinician at the Univ. of Oklahoma’s Trumpet Week: April 17-18

– Mahler 1 w/NM Phil (ABQ): April 22

Happy Spring!!!!

Fall 2022

What a year, what a summer. I’m happy to have joined Grand Canyon University as the instructor of trumpet (20 students wheeeee!) and the New Mexico Philharmonic as Associate Principal/3rd trumpet. Big things coming up: Tchaikovsky Festival with NMP, lead trumpet with The Who in Denver, and the magnificent fall season in Phoenix where you will find me, most certainly, in the pool when I’m not pining over the horn.

Spring 2022

Very excited to be seemingly turning a corner on the pandemic and have been performing a ton! I’ve been lucky to continue subbing regularly with the Phoenix Symphony including this past week where I had the opportunity to rip some solos from classic broadway tunes… a thrill and nice to play some of that music again.

As some may have heard, my dear friend, mentor, and colleague, Alan Hood, took a hard fall and is currently in rehabilitation. I am humbled, as always, to step in and cover his position at the University of Denver while he is in recovery. If you would like to contribute to his gofundme or check on his progress, please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-al-hood-in-his-recovery

Some upcoming performances of note:

  • Mar 18 @Dazzle Denver w/Milquetoast & Co. For tickets and info: www.dazzledenver.com
  • Mar 23 @Symphony Hall w/Phoenix Symphony ft music of Final Fantasy
  • Apr 6 Faculty Concert at the University of Denver ft. Stravinky’s, Histoire du Soldat and Marsalis’, Fiddler’s Tale suites.
  • Apr 9 @Magic Rat in Fort Collins, CO w/Milquetoast & Co
  • May 13,14,15 @Symphony Hall w/Phoenix Symphony ft. live to score Jurassic Park!!! (Very excited about this one)
  • May 21 American Tapestry w/ Denver Brass @Bethany Lutheran Church (Denver)
  • Oct 17 @The Ball Arena (Denver) w/ The WHO (lead trumpet)

Happy Holidays

It’s been a great fall and winter in sunny Arizona. I’ve been happy to avoid snow completely for the first winter in my life. I’ve been grateful for all the nice phone calls and text messages that I’ve received since CBS Mornings rebranded and aired their rebranded weekly morning show, featuring my solo trumpet playing. As of late, I’ve enjoyed getting to play with the Phoenix Symphony on some pops and holiday concerts as well as sitting in with some great players in the Red Rock Brass Quintet at the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix.

2022 has a lot to look forward to: Continuing work on my country record in Nashville (which features the trumpet as a solo instrument), Some solo trumpet releases, and just began work on a microtonal ambient house/techno project inspired by late 70s early 80s Chicago and Detroit house scenes- also ft. trumpet as a solo instrument. Stay Tuned.

Some upcoming gigs of note:

  • 12/31 NYE Celebration with the Phoenix Symphony ft. Leslie Odom Jr. @Symphony Hall (Phoenix) https://www.phoenixsymphony.org/
  • Feb 4-5, 2022 Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong and the Queen of Jazz w/Phoenix Symphony ft. Byron Stripling and Carmen Bradford @Symphony Hall
  • Feb 18-20 Music of Frank Sinatra and Beyond w/Phoenix Symphony ft. Tony Desare @Symphony Hall
  • Mar 11-13 Celtic Mania w/ Denver Brass @Newman Center for the Performing Arts (Denver). www.denverbrass.org
  • Apr 6 Faculty Concert at the University of Denver ft. Stravinky’s, Histoire du Soldat and Marsalis’, Fiddler’s Tale suites.
  • May 21 American Tapestry w/ Denver Brass @Bethany Lutheran Church (Denver)

Have a wonderful Holiday season!

CBS Mornings

Hello Friends! I am very pleased to announce that starting tomorrow, 9/7, you can hear my solo trumpet grace the theme and music of the newly rebranded CBS Mornings (fmr CBS This Morning) which features creative reinventions of the famous “Abblasen” trumpet fanfare. Other famous trumpeters that have graced the CBS network with this fanfare include Wynton Marsalis (currently featured on CBS Sunday Morning), Doc Severinson, and Don Smithers. It is beyond an honor to be included on that list. CBS Mornings airs weekdays, 7-9am on your local CBS affiliate. https://www.cbsnews.com/cbs-mornings/

Some upcoming performances of note:

With Milquetoast & Co:
Sept 10 @Milwaukee Summerfest on the Miller lite Oasis stage (w/ Sugarhill Gang, Wilco, Trapper Schoepp)
Sept 17 @ Westword Music Showcase (Denver)
Oct 23 @Marquis Theater (Denver) Album release show
For more dates and info: https://www.milquetoastandco.com/

With Denver Brass:
Nov 6 @Bethany Lutheran (Denver) 2 shows- 2 & 7:30. details at www.denverbrass.org

August/September 2021

Hey friends-

UPCOMING: Well, a new season is upon us and feeling very grateful for forward momentum. In the immediate couple of months:

-I’ll be headed to Nashville to record my solo country record featuring trumpet and all original compositions with engineer and multi-instrumentalist, Paul Defiglia (fmr Avett Brothers, Langhorne Slim).

-Starting the 21/22 Denver Brass season (tickets and dates: www.denverbrass.org)

-Playing Milwaukee’s Summerfest on the Miller Light Oasis stage on Sept 10 with Milquetoast & Co opening for Wilco, Sugarhillgang. details at https://www.summerfest.com/lineup/

-Masterclasses at Cal State Fullerton and Arizona State University

Feeling lucky to have kept things moving along during a challenging 2020-2021. Highlights included:

– Playing my first full season with the Denver Brass

-Stepping in as Visiting Faculty/ Trumpet Studio Teacher at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music

-joining the faculty of the Lamont Summer Academy for their summer festival as trumpet faculty

-Arranging and recording strings and brass for Denver’s Milquetoast & Co’s upcoming record along with appearing in 3 music videos, a web series (my acting debut!) and playing a slew of online performance

-Completing the first year of my DMA at Arizona State University as a teaching assistant in both the Jazz and Trumpet studios. Duties included directing the Jazz Repertory Band, coaching two brass quintets, holding down a fantastic trumpet studio, and teaching fundamental and mock audition classes.

-Gave masterclasses at University of North Texas, University of Minnesota, University of S. Illinois Edwardsville, University of Denver, and Arizona State University

The latest

Hello friends, it’s been awhile. The latest: Sam is pleased to join the faculty of the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music as a guest lecturer for the trumpet studio during their 2021 spring quarter! In addition, he will also serve as trumpet faculty for the Lamont Summer Academy. Check out all the wonderful happenings here- https://liberalarts.du.edu/lamont

Although this year has been a complete slog, a few bright spots in the silver lining over the last year have been performing with the Denver Brass during their 20/21 virtual season! Info and past/future live streams can be found here: www.denverbrass.org

Musical alliances have also been forged with Denver based band, Milquetoast & CO. You can check out some of Sammy’s string and brass arrangements on this beautiful tune:

Milquetoast & CO is quite active and currently in the studio. For updates and EVENTUAL tour dates, go here: /https://www.milquetoastandco.com/

Continued academic and teaching pursuits are ongoing at Arizona State University. Look out for Dr. Always in 2022.



Hey friends/lovers-

My current dates with An American in Paris can be found here: AAIP Schedule

I’ll be taking a leave from AAIP to join West Side Story on lead trumpet in Asia and Europe, Sept 12- January 28th. More info to follow.

I’ll be making an appearance on bass with my Denver rock band, Decatur, at the Underground Music Showcase (UMS) in Denver, July 27-30. More info HERE