Barsh was born in Chicago, IL, and began playing piano at the age of 4. He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL and William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey Barsh moved to New York City in 2001.
Barsh co-wrote The Man for Aloe Blacc's album Lift Your Spirit. The song reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart, and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified platinum by the RIAA, selling over 2.5 million copies in the US.
Barsh played keyboards on the Kendrick Lamar song i, which received the award for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song at the 2015 Grammy Awards. He also wrote and played keyboards on the song "Institutionalized" on Lamar's 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly.
From 2003-2006 Barsh was a member of the band of bassist Avishai Cohen, with whom he toured the world extensively. Barsh appears on Cohen's albums At Home and Continuo, and the live album/DVD As Is...Live at the Blue Note.
Barsh has released two albums as a leader: the independently released Live!, and I Forgot What You Taught Me on Razdaz Recordz.
As A Lead Artist
- "Live!" (2006)
- "I Forgot What You Taught Me" (Razdaz/Sunnyside, 2008)
With Palter Ego
- Limited Edition EP (2009)
- We Write Songs (2011)
- Above the Covers (2013)
- Id Ego. Palter Ego (2013)
- Kendrick Lamar "To Pimp a Butterfly" (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope, 2015) - composer, keyboards
- Macy Gray "The Way (Macy Gray album)" (Kobalt, 2014) - composer, keyboards
- Aloe Blacc "Lift Your Spirit" (Interscope Records, 2014) - composer, keyboards
- Robin McKelle "Heart Of Memphis" (Sony France, 2014) - composer
- Norah Jones and White On Rice "Dealbreaker" (2012) - composer, producer
- Nick Rosen "Violet" (Porter Records, 2012) - composer, keyboards, producer, engineer
- Fabrizio Sotti "Inner Dance" (E1 Music, 2010) - organ
- Vosotros Presents: The Years (Vosotros, 2009) - composer, keyboards, producer
- Russ Nolan & Kenny Werner Trio With You In Mind (Rhinoceruss, 2008) - producer
- Avishai Cohen As Is...Live At the Blue Note (RazDaz, 2007) - piano, keyboards
- Avishai Cohen As Is...Live At the Blue Note (DVD) (Half Note Records, 2007) - piano, keyboards
- Rick Parker Finding Space (WJF, 2006) - piano, synthesizer
- Avishai Cohen "Continuo" (Razdaz, 2005) - piano, keyboards
- Jeff Parker (musician) The Relatives (Thrill Jockey, 2005) - keyboards
- Zach Brock and the Coffee Achievers Chemistry (Secret Fort, 2005) - piano, keyboards, composer
- Avishai Cohen At Home (Razdaz, 2005) - piano, keyboards, composer
- Russ Nolan Two Colors (RN, 2004) - piano
- "Sam Barsh Biography". www.allmusic.com.
- Wilmette Newspaper Index
- "Jazz Studies & Performance : Alumni". www.wpunj.edu.
- "American single certifications – Aloe Blacc – The Man". riaa.com.
- "The Big 9 in 2014: Interscope". hitsdailydouble.com.
- "57th Annual GRAMMY Awards Nominees". Grammy Awards.
- Review of Sam Barsh "I Forgot What You Taught Me" from blogcritics.com
- Jazz Times review of Avishai Cohen's "At Home"
- BBC review of Avishai Cohen's "Continuo"
- Jazz Times review of "As Is...Live At The Blue Note"
- "Jazz Studies Alumni". www.wpunj.edu.
- Mark Saleski review of "I Forgot What You Taught Me"
- Jim Derogatis review of Jesse Palter and the Alter Ego for Chicago Sun-Times
- "Sam Barsh Credits". allmusic.com.
- "Norah Jones Gets White On Rice". perezhilton.com.
- "Dealbreaker - White on Rice". youtube.com.