"He's got rhythm. And for someone his age, plenty of soul, too.” San Francisco Chronicle
"Dashes of folk influences from around the world are sprinkled into its string band aesthetic; Reider’s accordion is the unyielding anchor, giving a dose of soulful, raw timelessness, but with a modern crispness and confidence." The Bluegrass Situation
"Too Hot to Sleep” is simply stunning, one to get utterly lost in." Northern Sky Magazine
SAM REIDER AND THE HUMAN HANDS
Sam Reider is a composer, singer-songwriter, pianist and accordionist from Brooklyn, NY. The Human Hands are an ensemble of some of the best and brightest from the worlds of jazz and roots music including Alex Hargreaves on violin, Eddie Barbash on saxophone, Dominick Leslie on mandolin, Roy Williams on guitar, and Dave Speranza on bass.
Their debut record of early 2018 "Too Hot To Sleep" breaks down any remaining boundaries between jazz, folk and chamber music. Reider reaches far beyond his roots in American music to draw on melodies and rhythms from around the world.
The son of a musical theatre composer and klezmer musician, Reider grew up in San Francisco. He began performing at a young age and at Columbia University fell in love with American folk music. While writing his senior thesis comparing the songwriting of Woody Guthrie and Ira Gershwin, Reider began studying bluegrass and old-time music, transcribing the fiddle melodies for the accordion and learning to sing the songs. This set him on a journey that has taken him from back porches and dive bars to concert halls. The band has appeared at major festivals throughout the US, performed live on the BBC and completed a ten day tour of the UK. Their 2019 season includes headline performances at the Savannah Music Festival and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Representing the U.S. Department of State as a musical ambassador, Reider has travelled to China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Estonia, Turkey and Azerbaijan; carrying his accordion on his back everywhere he goes and collaborating with international artists. Sounds and stories from these travels frequently serve as the inspiration for Reider’s compositions which together form an ongoing musical travelogue.
Reider articulates “In our role as “musical ambassadors” our political impact has been relatively minor. We are not delivering aid, resolving armed conflicts or building housing infrastructure. However, the more I get to travel and perform, the more I become aware that robust diplomacy begins with a simple gesture of mutual understanding. Music provides the initial spark that can ignite a long-lasting, fruitful relationship.”
A passionate educator, Reider has been a bandleader for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s highly acclaimed Jazz for Young People program since 2013 and is a regular faculty member at the Stanford Jazz Workshop where he teaches his Future Folk Musik course each summer to hundreds of students.
Additionally he has led hundreds of concert workshops in public schools throughout New York City, Washington, D.C., Memphis, Nashville, Chicago, Atlanta and New Orleans. Through his work with the U.S. Department of State he has led concerts and workshops about American folk music in China, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Turkey.
Says Reider “I never thought I’d play the accordion — which is a far more limiting instrument than the piano — but the damn thing has taken me all around the world.”