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Sam Newsome

Sam Newsome

As the name suggests, saxophonist Sam Newsome is treading upon the province of world music with his Global Unity, though he prefers to call it “cross cultural jazz.” On his Columbia debut, Newsome’s buttery soprano tone floats effortlessly over the insinuating Balkan-Middle Eastern-North African- inspired grooves laid down by a battery of percussionists including Leon Parker, Gilad, and Carlos Gomez. Amos Hoffman’s oud playing underscores the proceedings with a distinctly Turkish flavor.

“Living in New York it’s hard not to be influenced by music from all over the world,” says the 33-year-old Berklee College of Music grad. “Just getting in a cab and hearing those cats playing their cassettes or walking down the street and hearing all kinds of different music blasting from car speakers or going to get a falafel and hearing what they have playing in the restaurant. World music is all over New York.”

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