Born: February 8, 1995 Primary Instrument: Guitar
A 15 year old guitarist/singer prodigy musician. He excels in Jazz, Blues, Classical, Gospel, R&B, Funk and classic Rock. He has been playing for 9 yrs. In Harlem he is called: 'KING SOLOMON' , 'lil B.B.' and 'EAST Montgomery'. He attends : * Harlem school of the Arts for classical and jazz guitar * Jazzmobile workshops * Barry Harris's BeBop jazz classes * The Harbor Conservatory for Afro- Cuban and Classical guitar * Accepted into the Manhattan sch. of Music - pre college program * A freshman at Music & performing Arts High School Solomon has been in several newspapers, magazines, ABC, and many public access TV shows...
Awards:Audelco Award [rising star award]
On Sunday, the Harlem boy plays for morning service at The Greater Holy Tabernacle Church in the Bronx.
On Monday, Solomon jams with the veteran musicians at the New Amsterdam Musical Association in Harlem from 7:30 p.m. to about 9 p.m. before heading over to the Cotton Club on 125th St. to 'round midnight.
During holidays - read that when there is no school - he and his Momager - that's mother Holly Sampson-Hicks - will hit the Lenox Lounge, 288 Lenox Ave., to play from midnight to 3 a.m.
Wednesdays, he practices with Jim Bartow at the Harlem School of the Arts from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Then the Holy Name School eighth-grader and solid B student heads home to catch up on his school work.
Once that is done, Solomon may drop by St. Nick's Pub, in Harlem's Sugar Hill, from 9 p.m. to midnight to jam with a sit-in band that can sometimes include some of the best musicians in the world.
Wynton Marsalis was there the other night but we missed him, Holly said.
Thursdays, Solomon's at Sweetwaters Bar and Grill, 139th St. and Third Ave. in the Bronx, from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. He occasionally makes it to Boys Harbor Conservatory of Music on the upper East Side, where he jams to Afro-Cuban beat.
On Friday, King Solomon reigns again at NAMA, this time gigging with the younger generation musicians who bill themselves as young bloods. He may also hit 449 LA Scat, an informal gathering of entertainment talent held in a Brownstone at 132nd St. and Lenox Ave.
Saturday morning finds Solomon at Wadleigh High School, 114th St. between Seventh and Eighth Aves., for Jazz Mobile rehearsal from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. They practice all winter to play all summer, Holly said.
I'm exhausted and he hasn't even made it yet, said Holly.
It's a grueling schedule with a purpose: Hip hop is dead, Holly said, and Solomon's generation will be the one to bring new music to world.
She and husband Gullins Hicks hope their son's range of experience will give him a leg up in discovering the new music.
Veteran musician and NAMA President Willie Mack thinks she may be onto something.
Each time I heard him I recognized marked growth in musicianship and stage presence, Mack said.
When he's not playing about town, Solomon is as likely to be practicing in his room on one of his six guitars.
You can play with anyone you want to on YouTube, he said.
Solomon has been playing since he was 6 years old. He started out learning soul music from a family friend, then blues, then Jimi Hendrix-style funk before he even learned to read music.
You can check out his music and pictures of his various appearances at www.myspace.com/kingsolomon7865.
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