Name: Sam Kelly
Location: West London, UK
First MSI: Appearance: 15th May 2011
Profile: Sam started his playing career in the early 70’s with Cymande – the very first band he played in. Although not well known in the UK, Cymande, who were produced and signed by MSI: Panelist John Schroeder, worked in the USA, successfully touring to promote 3 albums which were released on the Janus label. The band may not have been around for long in the 70’s but the Cymande legacy continues with Bra and The Message being sampled by The Fugees, De La Soul and others. Cymande tracks have also been featured in the Spike Lee films, Crooklyn and 25th Hour. Recently Cymande has reformed and are currently writing a new album, to be produced by Schroeder. Over the years Sam has also worked with, amongst others, Robert Plant, Chaka Khan, Dr John, Ben E. King, has toured with Billy Ocean, Desmond Dekker, Michelle Shocked and in 2008 recorded drums for Gary Moore’s album “Bad For Your Baby” and toured with him in Germany. Sam’s long career covers live gigs, festivals, drum workshops, theatre work and radio and TV sessions, both in the UK and overseas. Sam has been voted into Blues In Britain magazine Gallery of the Greats, as five-times winner of the ‘UK Drummer of the Year’ award. Sam’s TV appearances include “That’s Life”, “Top Of The Pops” (with various artists) and “Not The Nine O’Clock News” and he was the drum tutor for the UK film “Swing”. In the theatre, Sam has been part of the band for productions including “125th Street” (West End), “The Blues Brothers” 1997 UK Tour, “Ain’t Misbehavin'” and many more. Sam is currently endorsed by several drum manufacturers including, Carrera Drums, CVL Drums, Protection Racket, Sabian Cymbals and Vic Firth. Currently Sam is still working with his own bands – Sam Kelly’s Station House, Primo Blue and Sam Kelly’s Blues Band and he continues to gig with the Papa George Band, The Soul Britannia All-Stars, Chuck Farley, Giles Hedley & the Aviators, Francesco Boldini (Italy) and Errol Linton’s Blues Vibe.

For more information on Sam, visit his website at


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