Born: September 4, 1976 Primary Instrument: Congas
Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Samuel graduated in Music Composition from the Universidad Javeriana. He started playing at the age of twelve with local bands and recalls learning a great deal from in-home jam sessions with friends of his musically inclined grandparents and relatives. While in Colombia Samuel played with the most respected Colombian musicians and worked as musical director and arranger for films and soap-operas. Though a classically trained percussionist, Samuel is drawn by the sounds and rhythms of different music genre, especially Latin American and Jazz.
In 1999 Samuel moved to Miami, where he was recruited by Grammy Award Winner Arturo Sandoval, with whom he recorded and toured around the world for four years. Upon arriving in the US, Samuel played with renowned jazz artists such as the late Tito Puente, Chick Corea, Paquito D’ Rivera, Poncho Sanchez, Pete Escovedo, Dave Valentin, Michael Brecker, Don Byron, Caribbean Jazz Project, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Lila Downs, Candido Camero, Mike Stern, and Claudio Roditi among others. He has recorded for Latin pop artist like Shakira, Marc Anthony, Thalia, Jerry Rivera.
Samuel has also performed as a guest of the Florida International University’s big band, the 4th of July Esplanade 2000 with the Boston Pops, 2000, the Singapore Arts Festival, the “5 de Mayo” Celebration 2001 with the Nashville Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Latin Festival 2001 with the L.A. Philharmonic, 2001 Newport Jazz Festival in Madarao, Japan and other important hosts.
Samuel’s spectacular performance landed him the Second Place at the 2000 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for Hand Percussion. He creates beautiful, yet challenging music designed to appeal to the discriminating listener. With artfully, dynamic and relaxed chops that match speed with precision, the Boston Globe describes his performance as “a ferocious conga solo by Samuel Torres that seemed not humanly possible”.
Samuel moved to New York in late 2002, where he gained recognition and respect in the most competitive musical settings, while continuing to perform in leading venues and festivals throughout the world.
Latin Percussion, Inc., the renowned percussion builder, appointed him as the leader, composer, producer, of “Drum Solos Revisited”, a DVD targeted to those interested in learning and/or improving their technique and soloist/ improvisational skills. Founder of LP, Martin Cohen claims that “he had not met an arranger/producer so talented in over 25 years”.
In 2004, Samuel Torres began working with the exceptionally gifted bassist, Richard Bona, demonstrating his commitment to take his talent to all areas of music.
His debut CD “SKIN TONES” was released in 2006.
As a leader of his own group Samuel has played in the most respected venues in NY, as well as in Puerto Rico, South America and Europe.
Presently, Samuel travels most of the year on tour and is currently working on his next album to be released in 2008.
[Samuel Torres] playing is full of joy and that’s what music is all about.” Richard Bona.
Skin Tones is at once intelligent, sophisticated and explosive. Jazz Times.
... a skillful musician coming into his own. Latin Beat Magazine.
About Skin Tones ...a modern Classic for all jazz lovers Jazz Review.
[Samuel Torres].. has written and recorded music for his project that is inventive, lyrical, and important work. He is a special artist. Jeff Tain Watts
... artfully accompanying Sandoval's pianistic excursions. The Philadelphia Inquirer.
...the stage is stolen at the end by percussionist Samuel Torres, who brings enough fury to his skins to alarm his hometown PETA chapter... The roar from the audience could have been heard at the end of a $15 taxi ride.... All About Jazz - What a fantastic study tool for congueros, timbaleros and bongoceros......One of the best instructional DVDs I have seen. Highly recommended. about Drum Solos Revisited, music composed, produced and arranged by Samuel Torres. Descarga.com -