Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Crain, Sam

Crain, Sam, guitar (also bass); b. Springfield, IL, 10 August 1954. His father John (1927-1993) was jazz trombonist. His mother is Jacqueline (b. 1929) and he has a brother Josh (b. 1968).

He took piano lessons from very early age and took up guitar age 12. First jazz experience at age 14, as bassist (string & electric) with The Bob Graham Quartet. Extensive performing experience after that, as guitarist and/or bassist, occasionally keyboardist with variety of jazz and rock groups.
Educated various places, including 1 semester at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Also studied composition privately, with John Webber of Boston Conservatory. Graduated from Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore 1980, with Bachelor s in music composition, where my teacher was Robert Hall Lewis. Awards include 2nd Prize, Phi mu sinfonia composition competition, Sam Houston State Univ. 1976; 1st Prize, Phi mu alpha composition competition, Peabody Con- servatory, 1977; honorable mention, guitar, Governors State Univ Jazz competition, 1981.

Was Artist-in-Residence for Sangamon State Univ (now Univ of Illinois at Springfield) Blues-in-the-schools in 1981. Crain was Guest lecturer for Friends of Lincoln Library's Meet the Composer series in the same year. The Composition Festival of Fluids and Solids for saxophone quartet performed at Univ of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana IL at Amer Soc of Univ Composers forum in 1982. He was an instructor in Guitar at Lincoln College, Lincoln IL in 1984.
From late 1984 to March of 1986, was guitarist (doubling bass, keyboards, background vocals and occasional choreography) for Gina, Dean & Scoundrel, a 7-piece showband (5 of the 7 played horns) playing Hotels and Casinos all over the US and into Canada and Mexico. 1987-93 were married, domesticated years, and though he wrote and home-recorded a lot of things, did not gig heavily. Since 93, Crain has been more active musically. Was guitarist for the Frank Trompeter Quintet from 94-96, during which time he got to play in Japan (Oct 95) at the Ashikaga Jazz Festival. He's had own group, The Sam Crain Quartet, since 98, and an occasional trio. He is currently active writing new music.

Big Bang (1987); Roadside Romance (1988); Oz (1989); Mellow Jazz (1990); Fast Food Automaton (1990); Local Heroes (1993); Standards (1994); A Walk on the Mild Side (1995); The Sam Crain Trio (1997); Spring into Swing (1999); Rose of Loami and other selections(2001); Oop Bop Sh Bang(2003); mp3 CDs of the following: Big Bang (2000); Oz (2000); Vintage Sam (2000); Son of Vintage Sam (2000); Jammin  with Sam (2000); Bedtime for Lester (2000); 1, 2 & 3 Guitars! (2001); music of sam crain (2001); Sonic Moods(2001); Roadsongs (2002); Home Cookin (2002);
Jazz Guitar (2002); Toasty Relief and other selections (2003)

Contact information:
http://www.mp3.com/The Sam Crain quartet

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