Sam Hirsh portrait

Sam Hirsh

Sadamu Samuel Hirsh was born in Kyoto, Japan. He and his family moved to Portland, Oregon, USA, when he was four years old. Sam started playing piano shortly after, and eventually acquired classical training. He began playing jazz his freshman year of high school influenced by his father, a jazz saxophonist. One year later he was working professionally, leading his own piano trio and working with various local artists including his father’s quintet.

In 2009, Hirsh was awarded a considerable scholarship to Los Angeles’ University of Southern California Thornton School of Music where he was mentored by Russ Ferrante, Otmaro Ruiz and Alan Pasqua. He graduated in 2012 and has been performing all over Southern California since. He can be seen playing as the leader of the Sam Hirsh Trio and as a sideman with Wille Jones III, Terrace Martin, Gilbert Castellanos, John Holiday, Cyrille Aimee, Henry Franklin, and the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra among others.

Sam is also a dedicated educator. Along with a thriving private practice, since 2017, he has accompanied UCLA undergraduate Jazz Vocal classes with Ruth Price and Luciana Souza. Hirsh was named piano faculty at the first annual Quincy Jones Jazz Camp in the summer of 2019 and was invited to be on faculty of the COJAC Monterey Jazz Festival Summer Camp alongside Gerald Clayton and Katie Thiroux in 2020. In 2024, he accepted a faculty position at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. He has given masterclasses at several institutions internationally.

Hirsh’s debut album Quite Frankly, featuring saxophone icon Ralph Moore, New York heavyweight John Webber on bass, and Los Angeles drummer Kevin Kanner, was released on all platforms in February 2020 and made JazzWeek Radio Chart’s top 20. His second album Quarantine Dreams, was released on all platforms in July 2022, featuring the immense talent of various Los Angeles based artists.