|Birth name||Martin J. Sammon|
|Also known as||Slammin Sammon, Chicago's 190 proof keyboardist|
|Born||October 14, 1977|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||October 15, 2022 (aged 45)|
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Genres||Chicago blues, electric blues, ragtime, New Orleans jazz|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, author|
|Instrument(s)||Piano, vocals, guitar|
Martin J. Sammon (October 14, 1977 – October 15, 2022) was an American blues keyboardist. He was recognized for his energetic performances, improvisation and mastery of traditional styles (ragtime and blues). Sammon has established himself as an ambassador of Chicago blues appearing on several commercially distributed DVDs, television shows (US and in Europe) and Grammy Award winning albums. His book Blues Keyboard Method, with a foreword by Chuck Leavell, of the Rolling Stones, was published by Hal Leonard in 2015.
Life and career
Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, in a family with Irish heritage, Sammon began learning to play the piano as a young child. He learned traditional Irish folk songs by ear while listening to records with his father, Martin Sammon Sr., a Chicago police officer. His parents realized that their son was a prodigy son with an ear for music and encouraged him to take piano lessons. He enjoyed the experience but also developed his musical ear by listening to many styles of music. He competed in contests, including the World Championship Old-Time Piano Players (winning championships in 1994 and 1995).
Sammon began receiving calls to play with many Chicago artists, including Phil Guy. He performed and toured with Guy and other blues musicians for years, while also performing headlining gigs, including a tour in Latvia. The turning point of his career came when he played with Guy at the original Checkerboard Lounge during the weekend of the Chicago Blues Festival.
After five years with Otis Rush, in which he played on Rush's 2003 DVD, Live Part One, and on Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey (which won Grammy Awards for Best Historical Album and Best Album Notes) - Godfathers and Sons, Sammon was contacted by Phil Guy: "It was late night and I was home when the phone rang. I didn't know the number so I ignored it. My brother Mike convinced me to answer saying that 'that could be THE call!' It was Phil Guy saying that I had the Buddy gig and, by the way, Y'all leave Thursday. I'll be forever grateful to Phil and to my bro for that!"
Sammon has performed worldwide with Buddy Guy and as an opening act with his own ensemble, the Marty Sammon Band. He contributed to Guy's sixth Grammy Award–winning album, Living Proof. He has also recorded numerous releases under his own name. Sammon also performed at schools and universities to promote the blues and music career development education.
In September 2015, Sammon made an uncredited appearance on the television program Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, in the episode "Delicious Destinations—Milwaukee".
On October 14, 2015, Sammon performed with Buddy Guy and Tom Hambridge at the White House for "A Celebration of American Creativity: In Performance at the White House", commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Sammon's influences included Peter Sliwka, Dr. John, Scott Joplin, Professor Longhair, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea, Otis Spann, Pinetop Perkins, Ray Charles, Eubie Blake, Fats Waller, Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, and Bruce Hornsby.
Sammon died on October 15, 2022, at the age of 45.
|Live at Legends||Buddy Guy||CD||2012 RCA|
|Say What You Mean||Phil Guy||CD||2000 JSP Records|
|Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Godfathers and Sons||Various artists||CD||*Grammy Award|
|Getting There||Quinn Sullivan||CD||2013 Superstar Records|
|Buddy Guy North Seas Jazz Festival||Buddy Guy||DVD|||
|Buddy Guy Live in Lugano Switzerland||Buddy Guy||DVD|
|Ragged & Dirty||Devon Allman||CD||2014 RUF Records|
|Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival||Various artists||DVD||2008 Rhino Entertainment|
|Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival||Various artists||DVD||2010|
|Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival||Various artists||DVD||2013|
|Carlos Santana Santana Presents the Blues||Carlos Santana||DVD||2004 Eagle Rock Entertainment|
|Otis Rush Blues Express||Otis Rush||CD and DVD||1999 Blues Express|
|Tear This World Up||Eddie C. Campbell||CD||Delmark Artist Performances|
|Living Proof||Buddy Guy||CD and Album||*Grammy Award Best Contemporary Blues Album, appearance on "Let the Door Knob Hit Ya", produced by Tom Hambridge|
|Experience Hendrix Tour||Various artists||DVD||2008 Image Entertainment|
|Robert Randolph Presents the Slide Brothers||Various artists||CD||2012 Dare Records|
|Jump Start||Lil' Ed Williams and the Blues Imperials||CD||2012 Alligator Records|
|Do Your Thing!||Michael Coleman||CD||2000 Delmark Records|
|Stoned Soul||Giles Corey||CD||2014 Delmark Records|
|What We Are||Rick Simcox||CD||2012 RSTQ Records|
|Rob Blaine's Big Otis Blues||Rob Blaine||CD||2012 Swississippi Records|
|Four Aces and a Harp||Swississippi Chris Harper||CD||2010 Swississippi Records|
|Marty Sammon Band Live||Marty Sammon||CD||2002|
|Marty Sammon Honky Tonk Piano Party||Marty Sammon||CD|
|Marty Sammon Songs Before My Time||Marty Sammon||CD|
|Marty Sammon Hound Dog Barkin'||Marty Sammon||CD||2010 (Originals Re-Release)|
|Marty Sammon Live at Orazio's||Marty Sammon||CD|
|Marty Sammon Right At Home||Marty Sammon||CD|
|190 Proof Blues||Marty Sammon and Tom Holland||CD||2008 Live performance filmed and aired on WDCB 90.9 FM, with Scott "Hambone" Hammer|
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- D. "Marty Sammon Band: Live CD Track Listing". Cylist.com. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
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- "90.9fm WDCB - Error". Wdcb.org. Retrieved 19 January 2015.