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Sam Wiley, Jr.
Sam Wiley Jr
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Artist Biography

Everything you need to know in one spot.

  • Band/Affiliation: Big Apple Circus
  • Country: United States

A member of the "famed" Eagle Rock High School Jazz Band of Los Angeles, CA, under John Rinaldo, voted best High School Jazz Band in the country. Players such as Scott Colley, Louis Bonilla, Roger Ingram, Carlos Vega, and Dave Stone all had their start in the Eagle Rock Jazz Band. Sam was named "Outstanding Soloist" at the High School Competition at the Monterey Jazz Festival, playing with such renowned musicians as Ray Charles, Clark Terry, and Shelley Manne to name a few. Sam studied with John "Terry" Tirabasso while in Los Angeles, who back in the day played with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, and Elvis Presley in studio and film.

Sam has been playing drums professionally since the age of 15. With special appearances at the 1984 Olympic Games in LA, LP recordings on Suzanna Hoffs (lead singer for the Bangles, on her solo album), drum tracks on the Medievil Times Shows played all across the country, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim Soundtrack and many others. Numerous shows in Los Angeles including Sunset Boulevard at the Shubert Theater, with Glenn Close; Odipeous Schmedipous with Rue McClannahan (Golden Girls), along with other various recordings for Ms. McClannahan. Sam left LA to tour with Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus, touring for six years with features in Modern Drummer and Drum magazines. Sam is currently on tour with The Big Apple Circus in his 10th year in Bello is Back.

Sam continues to expand the bounds of circus drumming - a unique combination of visual improvisation, accentuating each individual circus trick, with rock-solid time to keep the band in a nice groove. Sam is a member of Local 802 AF of M and endorsed by Zildjian Cymbals and drum sticks and Remo Drums.

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