Big Sam is one of New Orleans premier trombone players in the modern era. He also sings his guts out and can bust some serious moves on command. In preparation for his show at the Fly Me To The Moon Saloon tonight, here are five things you probably didn’t know about the Big Easy funk ambassador in his own words.
1. He Plays a Custom Best American Crafts Trombone
“I got this Best American Crafts horn 14 months ago from their spot around Kansas City, and it is modeled after a Dizzy Gillespie trumpet, so it is pointed up at the sky.”
2. He Proposed On Stage During This Year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival
“I was thinking about taking her out to the country or out to dinner, but that seemed too obvious. Although I would usually choose a more intimate setting, I knew she would love it and not expect it at Jazz Fest on her birthday during “Funky Donkey.”
3. He Once Was Asked To Record On The Fly With Ray Parker Jr., Dr. John and Others
“This type of thing happens all the time in New Orleans, but years ago trombone player Nils Landgren had a session with Ray Parker Jr., Dr. John, and some other cats including myself. I didn’t know they were going to be there, so I just showed up and rolled with it, playing with those guys on the record.”
4. His Dance Moves Are Inspired by James Brown and Prince
“I didn’t start dancing till I was 18, doing routine steps with the Soul Rebels, and then I broke out of my shell with Dirty Dozen Brass Band doing the moves the music brought out in me. James Brown and Prince are my influences for sure. I try to do my own rendition of their moves, but I can’t keep up with those cats.”
5. He Loves To Play Everything From Funk to Hard Rock
“Oh man, lord, it gets complicated when I talk about what inspires me and what I like to play. I can get into George Clinton as easily as Pantera. I like so many styles of music, and I try to make it our own on stage. Going to make to Prince, too, he can do funk and rock, and that dude will melt your face off.”
Catch Big Sam’s Funky Nation at the Fly Me To The Moon Saloon on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at 10 PM. $10 door.