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Samora Pinderhughes

New York, NY         

Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes is a world-renowned pianist and composer who uses music to issue challenging questions about social justice and identity. Samora has performed in venues including the White House, the Blue Note, MoMA, the Sundance Film Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, and Carnegie Hall, and tours internationally with artists including Branford Marsalis, Christian Scott, Jose James, Harvey Mason, and Emily King.

Samora is the director and creator of The Transformations Suite, an acclaimed project combining music, theatre, and poetry to examine the radical history of resistance within the communities of the African Diaspora. The Transformations Suite debuted to huge enthusiasm throughout Brazil during a two-week tour, and has since been presented to sold-out audiences and received standing ovations at Columbia University, NYU, Juilliard, Joe’s Pub, the Jazz Gallery, and the Museum of Natural History among other places. An album of this music, as well as an accompanying short film, is due out in late 2016.

Samora’s other projects as a leader include: The James Baldwin Essays: Examining the American Dream Narrative, commissioned by Harlem Stage; The Migration of Protest: Meditations on Jacob Lawrence, for the Museum of Modern Art; and Billy Strayhorn: The Music of the Sutherland Period, performed at the Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in October 2015.

Also a composer for film and theatre, Samora is a 2015 Sundance Composers Lab fellow. He is currently working on a live score for the historic film Lime Kiln Field Day, commissioned by MoMA and Harlem Stage. He is also the music director for Daniel Alexander Jones’ upcoming play “Duat” at Soho Rep. Samora’s compositions have been recorded and performed by music legends Kenny Barron, John Santos, Benny Maupin, and others.

Raised in Berkeley, CA, Samora began his musical journey by studying Venezuelan and Cuban percussion starting at age two and jazz piano at age seven, and was trained within the illustrious Young Musicians Choral Orchestra until he left to NYC for training at the Juilliard School. By age fifteen, he had arranged and recorded two albums (Catch 22 and Live at Yoshi’s) and received commissions to develop works that were performed at the Caramoor and Moab Music Festivals. Upon receiving his Bachelors of Music degree from Juilliard, Samora was awarded the Peter Mennin Prize for “Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Music”. His teachers have included Kenny Barron, Benny Green, Patrice Rushen, Frank Foster, Marcus Belgrave, Frank Kimbrough, Kendall Briggs, and mentor Anna Deavere Smith.

Samora aims to create beauty and inspire change with his music. He believes strongly in the positive and creative power of art, and strives to use music to address important issues and help those in need.

Samora Pinderhughes – PBS – Why artists are responsible for moving society forward

Interview on PBS NewsHour

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“The Truth” – by Samora Pinderhughes

live performance for WBGO

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Samora Pinderhughes – “The Transformations Suite” Live

NPR’s Jazz Night in America – live in Berkeley, CA

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