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PECO Free First Sunday Family Day: Bernard Samuel

Bernard Samuel 001

PECO Free First Sunday Family Day: Bernard Samuel

July 7th, 1pm & 3pm

Julian Hartwell at 1pm & Bernard Samuel at 3pm

The Barnes Foundation

2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy

Philadelphia, PA 19130

FOR MORE INFO

 

July 7th is the first Sunday of the month, which means free admission at The Barnes. Visitors have access to the collection, plus all family activities and entertainment. As part of this FREE family-friendly, day of activity at The Barnes, the Philadelphia Jazz Project is excited to present two, solo pianists, Julian Hartwell and Bernard Samuel, who will share exquisite keyboard explorations filled with history, romance and humor.

 

Bernard Samuel is a Philadelphia-based pianist with a "personal touch." He began playing while attending college, and has been, constantly developing his skills, style and gaining experience over the years. Drawing from the influences of R&B vocal groups like The Harptones and The Temptations, as well as the lyrical musical styling’s of great jazz pianists, the likes of Hank Jones, Red Garland, Tommy Flanagan and Kenny Barron. Bernard Samuel mixes all of these influences to forge a style that's all of his own.


Bernard Samuel 002Samuel's work was described by Philadelphia Inquirer contributing writer, Francis Davis, as "hard, speedy, rhythmically punchy, yet metrically free." Samuel has performed with such great artists as; Hank Mobley, Philly Joe Jones, Cecil Payne, Carl and Earl Grubbs ("The Visitors"), Roy Brooks, Jimmy Merritt, Tyrone Brown, Bootsie Barnes, Duck Scott, Johnny Lytle, and George V. Johnson Jr. For many years, Bernard Samuel worked with the legendary saxophonist Little Jimmy Oliver. One of Samuel's original compositions, "Waltz for My Lady", was chosen, by Jazz radio station, WRTI 90.1FM to be part of the Philadelphia Jazz Showcase CD Compilation, Volume I, in February 1996. Bernard Samuel currently performs nightly with duo’s, trios or quartets at various hotels, restaurants and jazz clubs, as well as private affairs throughout New York, Philadelphia, and the Mid Atlantic region.



At the PECO Free First Sunday Family Day, Bernard Samuel will share a fiery, solo piano-fueled, musical journey that explores the geographies of Bebop, Rhythm & Blues and the territories that lie in the sonic distances beyond.
 

PJP spoke with Bernard Samuel about his music and the upcoming performance at The Barnes Foundation.

 

PJP: Can you briefly describe your musical background?

 

Bernard Samuel: I began studying music theory while attending Virginal Union University. Upon returning home to Philadelphia, I enrolled at the Granoff’s School of Music. I received early piano lessons from pianist Eddie Green, Sam Dockery and Gerald Price.

Bernard Samuel 003

I also was fortunate enough to have early performance experience with Carl and Earl Grubbs (The Visitors), Jimmy Merritt, Cecil Payne, Rufus Harley, Johnny Lytle, Bootsie Barnes and George V. Johnson Jr. just to name a few. For many years, I worked with the legendary saxophonist “Little Jimmy Oliver” holding down the piano chair for the esteemed pianist Sam Dockery.

 

PJP: What is your upcoming solo performance at the Barnes Foundation all about?
 

Bernard Samuel: For the Barnes presentation, I will be performing some of my favorite tunes from the Great American Song Book, (Body and Soul, I Should Care) also tunes by Duke Ellington, (Lush Life) Fats Waller, (The Jitterbug Waltz) Herbie Hancock (Dolphin Dance) and Ahmad Jamal (Poinciana).

 

PJP: What is the challenge of performing solo?

 

Bernard Samuel 004Bernard Samuel: My solo challenge is keeping the composition's feel, musical motion and swing.

 

PJP: When participating in this project, what advice would you give the audience to assist with greater understanding and enjoyment?

 

Bernard Samuel: Don’t think of the music as jazz. Don’t listen for jazz licks, or seek to recognize jazz phrases, but listen for an artist’s personal interpretation of the song.

 

PJP: Why Jazz? When you could be doing anything else, why jazz?

 

Bernard Samuel: I don’t think of the music as Jazz, but simply as Music. I like to play piano my way. I like play music my way. I am excited about that, along with enjoying my family and computer architectural design.

 

PECO Free First Sunday Family Day: Bernard Samuel

July 7th at 3pm

The Barnes Foundation

2025 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy

Philadelphia, PA 19130

FOR MORE INFO

 

 

Check Out Bernard Samuel In Action In These Videos

 

 

 

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Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the Culture Trust | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Philadelphia Foundation.

 

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Philadelphia Jazz Project is a sponsored project of the Culture Trust | Greater Philadelphia, with funding provided by The Philadelphia Foundation.