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Saxophonist Sam Newsome was born in Salisbury, Maryland (4/28/65) and raised in Hampton, Virginia, where he grew up playing with contemporaries such as James Genus, Steve Wilson, and Billy Drummond. After graduating high school in 1983, he attended Berklee College of Music, studying with Billy Pierce, George Garzone, and Andy McGhee. Sam graduated Berklee with a degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging in 1988 and headed to New York. As a sideman, Sam has either performed or recorded with such talents as Terrence Blanchard, Donald Byrd and the Black Byrds, Lionel Hampton Big Band, Leon Parker, and Jackie Terrason (on a 1999 European Tour). As a leader, he has recorded four albums for Criss Cross, Sony, Steeplechase and Palmetto. Sam took up the soprano as his main horn in 1995 after performing primarily on tenor for years; he notes, "I felt I could be more melodic and free. I felt I could shed the past a bit, be more of an individual." Sam´s recordings and live performances are a testament to his dedication and adventurous spirit.