(Bios, quotes, and high-res photos.)
Short dulcimer bio #1: Sam Edelston
Sam Edelston is on a quest to bring dulcimers into widespread public awareness. In the process, he has gained a reputation for bringing many kinds of modern, "mass-appeal" music to the mountain dulcimer, his music has been heard in over 190 countries, and his 2020-2023 schedule includes performances and/or teaching in Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Vermont, and New York -- plus QuaranTUNE and several other online festivals. His repertoire ranges from rock to opera, and from big band to bluegrass. He also plays guitar, banjo, and hammered dulcimer. www.SamTheMusicMan.com
Short dulcimer bio #2: Sam Edelston
Sam Edelston plays rock, pop, blues, country, classical, a bit of jazz, assorted other styles, and even some original songs on acoustic and electric dulcimer. Oh, yes, and folk music, too. He aims not just to expand the horizons of dulcimer players, but to expand the common repertoire of the instrument and to bring dulcimers to the attention of the general public. Sam draws his musical inspiration from rock bands, symphony orchestras, modern a cappella, and anything else that crosses his path. His online videos have gotten 1,000,000 views, in over 190 countries. Sam is chair of the Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival, held every October in Milford, CT (or online in 2020 and 2021). He has performed or taught at various dulcimer festivals, folk festivals, other venues in the Northeast and beyond. His 2020-2023 schedule includes performing/teaching in Colorado, North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Vermont, and New York -- plus QuaranTUNE and several other online festivals. www.SamTheMusicMan.com
Not-so-short dulcimer bio #3: Sam Edelston
Sam Edelston is on a quest to make dulcimers as popular as flutes and fiddles. His mountain dulcimer videos have been viewed more than 1,000,000 times, embracing much of the rock and pop spectrum, plus bluegrass, bossa nova, Sousa, opera, and more. On acoustic and electric dulcimer, he often makes his three strings sound like more than one instrument, and has gained a reputation as an innovative arranger. Sam has performed and taught at a variety of festivals and other venues around the Northeast, and is becoming a popular performer in other parts of the country. His 2020-2023 schedule includes the online QuaranTUNE Dulcimer Festival, Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering (CA, via internet), Colorado Dulcimer Festival, FabFest (a Beatles festival in North Carolina), Virginia, the Albany (NY) Mountain Dulcimer Music Festival, Kentucky Music Week, and others. He is chair of the Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival in Connecticut. One workshop student commented, "As zany as Sam is, he is a patient, knowledgeable, caring teacher also experienced, smart, creative, etc." And as a preschooler once told her mother, "Rosie's daddy came in and sang to us today. He was so much fun. Can he be my daddy, too?" www.SamTheMusicMan.com
General bio #1: Sam Edelston
Depending on the audience, you might hear Sam Edelston play rock, folk, or country music, old "standards," children's shout-alongs, off-the-wall funny songs, originals, or you never know what else. He accompanies himself on acoustic and electric mountain dulcimer, guitar, banjo, and occasionally hammered dulcimer. In fact, Sam is an innovator and leading advocate for bringing dulcimers into modern music. His music videos have gotten more than 1,000,000 online views. Based in SW Connecticut and now doing music full-time, Sam has performed or taught at a variety of festivals and other venues around the Northeast, and at events as far away as Colorado, Kentucky, Minnesota, Louisiana -- and in 2020-2023, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Vermont, and repeat engagements in Colorado and Kentucky. www.SamTheMusicMan.com
The best way to make sure I get your message is through the Contact Me page here. If it's about a gig or other opportunity, I'll get back to you as soon as I can -- normally same-day or next day.
"Displaying a frightening amount of rock mojo for a guy who seems fairly quiet and unassuming, Edelston used his amplified three-string mountain dulcimer to roar his way through ‘Whole Lotta Love’ without so much as breaking a sweat. After watching this, we’re ready to jump iin a van and follow Edelston around on tour."
“'You can’t do that on a dulcimer!' Well, maybe you can’t but Sam Edelston can. Sam has taken the mountain dulcimer from its backwoods Appalachian origins to genres most players never dreamed of, from bossa nova to bluegrass to Black Sabbath. His instruments range from the traditional 3-string diatonic to fully chromatic electric with two pedalboards. He is being featured in dulcimer festivals across the country. Sam is a brilliant and innovative player, and no slouch on the hammered dulcimer or guitar either. Sam’s skewed sensibilities on what might be 'appropriate' for the dulcimer extend to his music as well. Look for parodies, mash-ups, and other delightfully warped songs from this innovative musician."
-- The Folk Project
"Wow. Beautiful version."
-- Chris Frantz. Talking Heads drummer, commenting on Sam's cover of Psycho Killer
"Thank you for that great version! Dance Safely!"
-- Ivan Doroschuk, lead singer of the band Men
Without Hats, reacting to Sam's cover of the band's hit, "Safety
"Your guest spot was beyond fantastic...I have not smiled/laughed for that long for quite a while!"
Dulcimer performer Laurie Alsobrook, after Sam's "mystery guest" appearance at the "Send In the Music" online jam.
"Connecticut resident Sam Edelston is a dulcimer wizard who has used the old-time instrument to cover classic rock songs in the past. We're in awe of one of his most recent covers as he does a bang-up job of tackling Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love.'"
"You gotta have a class with Sam."
-- Nancy Barker, founder and director of Kentucky Music Week
"I grew up listening to classical music and traditional folk music. I never got into rock and roll. You really rocked my boat when you opened up the door to play all kinds of rock on the dulcimer! Thanks to my husband, with his passion for rock and roll, and thanks to you, Sam, with you passion to bring the dulcimer into the 21st century ….I have embarked on a brand new musical journey. I actually played all the music in the Big Book of Classic Rock for keyboard. I made sure to listen to all the songs as played originally as well as on keyboard alone. In addition, I took the time to understand the lyrics and savor the chord progressions. As you can tell, I am motivated and excited. It is a whole new world."
-- Online course participant Janet Kurisko
"This is one of the 5 coolest things I've ever seen/heard on dulcimer ... and the other 4 were all with Sam as well!"
-- Dulcimer master Tull Glazener, after seeing a video of Sam performing "I Can See Clearly Now" with Nicki Parrott's jazz trio.
"With his complex layered arrangements of so many genres of music for the dulcimer, Sam has added a huge chapter to the development of the mountain dulcimer as a versatile and ever growing musical American folk instrument."
-- Dulcimer legend Joellen Lapidus, writing at Folkworks.org
"Our day with Sam Edelston was a great success. We learned so much. This video gives you a slight example of the caliber of performer that Sam Edelston is. We have never seen anything like it. Our workshops were challenging and fantastic. Sam's performance was out of this world. It was an incredible day!"
-- Misery Bay Dulcimer Club, Erie, PA
"I've never heard a dulcimer sound so much like a guitar before."
-- Jose Feliciano.
“Today, I attended Sam Edelston’s workshop on Rock & Roll chord progressions for dulcimer and holy crap, now I can play Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” on Lulabelle so well I got a ceiling bang from the Trolls who live in the subterranean cavern, and a “SHUT THE FU....wait, is that Chuck Berry?”
I strummed harder and laughed maniacally. They shut the fu— up and listened.
Apparently, they are Trolls with Soul. After I finished the last lick there was a silence, then a muffled “Props, bitch.”
-- Workshop attendee Maryam Webster
"Rosie's daddy came in and sang to us today. He was so much fun. Can he be my daddy, too?"
-- Rebecca, age 4