Kirmayer, Sam

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Guitarist and composer Sam Kirmayer, plays straight-ahead jazz with “fearlessness and momentum” – Katie Malloch (CBC Jazz Beat & Tonic). One of CBC Music’s picks for the “35 best Canadian jazz musicians under 35”, he has performed with some of Canada's finest musicians including André White, Joel Miller, Mike Rud and Kevin Dean, who has praised him for his “excellence, honesty and power of emotion.” 

Kirmayer’s 2017 debut Opening Statement, a mixed set of original compositions and well chosen standards, features a strong supporting cast of New York based pianist Sean Fyfe and Montreal stalwarts bassist Mike De Masi and drummer Dave Laing. In a 4 star review, All About Jazz called Opening Statement “strong-minded, well-spoken and worth relishing many more times than once.” The album went on to win the Julian Award of Excellence for Emerging Canadian Jazz Artists from CJSF 90.1 FM. 

Kirmayer’s sophomore album, High and Low (Cellar Live, 2018) features acclaimed New York based organist Ben Paterson, with Dave Laing returning on drums. The album “casts his warm tone and lyrical focus in a different setting...a shining example of jazz erudition and maturity that outstrip his years” — Peter Hum (Ottawa Citizen, from liner notes).

Sam completed an Undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance at McGill University in 2016 with Outstanding Achievement and Dean's Honour List standings. He has been the recipient of several awards and scholarships including the Oliver Jones Jazz Scholarship from Vanier College and the David Moyse Guitar Scholarship from McGill. He maintains an active performance schedule with several weekly residencies in Montreal, frequent appearances elsewhere in Quebec and Ontario and recently, a tour of Western Canada.