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Sammy Stein

JJA 2020 Best Jazz Book nominee , Phace Mag 2020 Music Book Of The Year Winner , Jazz Times Distaff award 2019, Gearhead list 2019. Reviewer for several columns, International editor for JJA

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My Jazz Story

I was first exposed to jazz when I went to hear George Melly, Acker Bilk, and Kenny Ball. I also liked a lot of groups with jazz at their heart like The Blockheads and other bands of the era. I got into jazz a bit more when I went to Hampstead Jazz Club (a community club run by an ex-King Crimson member) and was asked to sing ( because I had left my clarinet at home) and things kind of went from there. I got published by Hamlyn Octopus writing about botanical subjects but liked writing so much I decided to write about jazz. the rest, as they say, is history. I went from occasional articles for columns to writing for Reader's Digest, Library of Congress, WeJAzz, and magazines. I had books published and to my surprise, they won awards and I found people approaching me wanting me to write about them. I don't have any advice for listeners to jazz music apart from open your minds. Freejazz, for me, is the most liberating music and speaks to the soul. I owe a lot to the kindness of musicians, particularly the guy from one band who introduced me to free jazz and to the musicians who encouraged me to keep going - their encouragement never stops and can still surprise me.

My House Concert Story

So many but ones I remember in particular are those by the People Band, No More Zoos and Peter Brotzmann.

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