Sam Kirmayer, jazz guitarist, composer and native Montrealer, is a young musician who plays with “a fearlessness and momentum that promise much, much more to come” – Katie Malloch (CBC Jazz Beat & Tonic). Drawing inspiration from masters like Wes Montgomery and Grant Green, Sam eschews effects in favour of a clear, direct tone and maintains firm roots in the blues and hard bop traditions. Sam has performed with some of Canada's finest musicians including André White, Joel Miller, Mike Rud and Kevin Dean, who has praised him for his “excellence, honesty and power of emotion.” In 2017, CBC Music included Sam in their list of the “35 best Canadian jazz musicians under 35”.
In April 2017, Sam released his debut album, Opening Statement, on Montreal label Chromatic Audio. A straight-ahead quartet date, the album features a mixed set of originals and standards, with a strong supporting cast of New York based pianist Sean Fyfe and Montreal stalwarts bassist Mike De Masi and drummer Dave Laing. In a 4 star review, All About Jazz called Opening Statement “strong-minded, well-spoken and worth relishing many more times than once.”
Sam’s sophomore album, High and Low, is set for a fall 2018 release on Cellar Live and features New York based organist Ben Paterson, with Dave Laing returning on drums. Meanwhile, he maintains an active performance schedule with several weekly residencies in Montreal, frequent appearances elsewhere in Quebec and Ontario and recently, a tour of Western Canada.
Sam completed an Undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance at McGill University in 2016 with Outstanding Achievement and Dean's Honour List standings. He has been the recipient of several awards and scholarships including the Oliver Jones Jazz Scholarship from Vanier College, the David Moyse Guitar Scholarship from McGill, the Julian Award of Excellence for Emerging Canadian Jazz Artists from CJSF 90.1 FM.