Sam Priven is a 27 year old composer and saxophonist from Albany, California. Sam is a graduate of the University of Miami Frost School of Music, under the direction of John Daversa, Martin Bejerano, Mark Small, Dan Strange, Dave Hartsman, Dante Luciani and Gary Keller. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sam feels very grateful to have returned to the west coast to grow professionally and continue many of the relationships he made growing up. He has had the opportunity to teach at the California Jazz Conservatory, teaching a college level class on the Philosophy of jazz, and teaching other courses for adults and high schoolers.
Priven was also selected for the exclusive Betty Carter Jazz Ahead workshop through the Kennedy Center, in which he had the opportunity to work for two weeks with jazz greats such as Dee-Dee Bridgewater, Jason Moran, Greg Hutch, Peter Martin, Marcus Printup, Casey Benjamin and Christopher Thomas.
Growing up in the Bay, Sam had the privilege of taking private lessons from Ben Goldberg and Dann Zinn, who remain the two most influential forces on Sam’s musical perspective. Sam’s hometown put him in touch with many other passionate musicians his own age that pushed him to explore his own musical limits and open his heart further. Keith Johnson was a director of a conglomeration of such students who met at the JazzSchool in Berkeley. His directness, insistence on perfect malleability, and personable qualities have served as a great example of what a band leader can be, and how transformative it is when people come together with common goals and passion.
Sam has performed with Danilo Perez, Chris Potter, Ben Goldberg, Andy Martin, Wycliff Gordon, Martin Bejerano, and Brian Lynch, to name a few. Sam has played at notable venues in Switzerland, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Italy, and Germany such as the Montreux, North Sea, Umbria, Monterey, Essentially Ellington, and Next Generation Jazz Festivals. He has also spent time playing at local venues such as Yoshi’s in San Francisco and Oakland, Rose Room at Lincoln Center, Arsht Center, and Kuumbwa Jazz Center.