Sam Barsh

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Sam Barsh (born 1981 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American songwriter, keyboardist and record producer. He has worked in the genres of Jazz, R&B, Hip hop and pop.


Barsh was born in Chicago, IL, and began playing piano at the age of 4.[1] He attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, IL[2] and William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey[3] Barsh moved to New York City in 2001 and currently resides in Los Angeles.


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,[4] selling over 2.5 million copies in the US.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] Barsh appears on Cohen's albums At Home[8] and Continuo,[9] and the live album/DVD As Is...Live at the Blue Note.[10]

In addition to Cohen, Barsh has performed with The Brand New Heavies, Branford Marsalis, Debbie Friedman, Robin Eubanks, Lonnie Plaxico, Mino Cinelu, Cassandra Wilson, and Boyz II Men.[11]

Barsh has released two albums as a leader: the independently released Live!, and I Forgot What You Taught Me on Razdaz Recordz.[12]

In 2009 Barsh co-founded, along with vocalist Jesse Palter, the electronic pop group Jesse Palter and the Alter Ego, later renamed Palter Ego.[13] The group has released 2 EPs and two albums.


As A Lead Artist[edit]

  • "Live!" (2006)
  • "I Forgot What You Taught Me" (Razdaz/Sunnyside, 2008)

With Palter Ego[edit]

  • Limited Edition EP (2009)
  • We Write Songs (2011)
  • Above the Covers (2013)
  • Id Ego. Palter Ego (2013)

With Other Artists[14][edit]

  • 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)[15][16] - 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


External links[edit]