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Sam M. Zavaleta


Sam is a world musician who works with percussive instruments from all over the world. Drawing on traditions ranging from Mexican folklore to contemporary jazz and European classical, Sam creates immersive musical experiences using marimba, contemporary percussion, voice, Mexican folkloric instruments, and more.


Sam's current project, Lejos Del Tiempo,  pushes the boundaries of musical disciplines, exploring the intersection of time, movement and immigration. An immigrant himself who has lived in three countries and traveled widely, this project explores both what it means to belong to a musical discipline, and what it means to belong to a nation. Contrasting and blending traditional Mexican folklore and contemporary percussion, Samuel makes use of voice, marimba, hand drums, and more in order to explore the richness of sounds and sonically represent his experiences of movement, belonging, and immigration. 


An inspired teacher, Sam also makes some children's music. Sam's children's music utilizes a wide aray of percussive and electronic sounds. Oriented to bilingual children, this music is in both English and Spanish. 


Sam has played with Calpulli Mexican Dance, Villalobos Brothers, Dan Zanes, the National Dance Institute, Xalapa Percussion Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra of Xalapa, Veracruz State Band and Cindy Lou Potter, among others. Check out some of Sam's work below. 

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