Big Sam (musician)

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Big Sam
Big Sam Williams, Jeff Albert, Steve Turre, and Kirk Joseph.jpg
Big Sam Williams, Jeff Albert, Steve Turre, and Kirk Joseph
Background information
Origin New Orleans
Genres funk, jazz, rock
Instruments trombone
Years active 2001-present
Labels Hypersoul Records
Associated acts Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Website Big Sam's Funky Nation

Big Sam is a trombonist and band leader from New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been a member of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and currently leads Big Sam's Funky Nation. In youth he studied with educator and saxophonist Kidd Jordan and at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). In his teens, Big Sam was a founding member of the Stooges Brass Band, and later joined the Dirty Dozen, allowing him to meet and play with other touring bands and musicians such as Karl Denson, Dave Matthews, Widespread Panic and James Brown. After one year with the Dirty Dozen Sam began a side project broadening his musical ambitions. In 2006, he played with Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint on their grammy-nominated "the River in Reverse" album and subsequent international tour. Over the years, Big Sam's Funky Nation would become his main band, touring both nationally, internationally, and at major festivals such as Bonnaroo, Gathering of the Vibes, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Voodoo Music Experience, South By Southwest, Austin City Limits, and others. Big Sam's Funky Nation is primarily a funk and rock that can also have elements of traditional jazz, contemporary jazz, acid jazz, dance, hard rock and even punk.

Big Sam had a recurring role in the HBO Original Series, Treme. The series followed residents of New Orleans, including musicians, chefs, Mardi Gras Indians and ordinary New Orleanians as they tried to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane Katrina.

Sam learned only in adulthood that he is the great-grandson of Buddy Bolden, the famed New Orleans cornetist.

In October 2010 Big Sam's Funky Nation will be performing at The Voodoo Experience in New Orleans

In June 2014 Big Sam's Funky Nation will be performing at Bonnaroo in Tennessee


  • 2009 Big Easy Music Award: Best Funk Band of 2008
  • June 2009 Where Y’at Magazine’s “Best of the Big Easy’s Reader’s Pick: Best R&B Band”
  • 2009 Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship

Selected discography[edit]

Big Sam in 2012
  • Funky Donkey (EP) - Big Sam's Funky Nation (2012)
  • King of the Party" - Big Sam's Funky Nation (HyperSoul Records, 2010)
  • Peace Love & Understanding - Big Sam's Funky Nation (2008)
  • Take Me Back - Big Sam's Funky Nation (2006)
  • Birth of a Nation - Big Sam's Funky Nation (2003)


External links[edit]