Sam Subar

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Picking up the instrument by ear at age 11, Sam Subar began to learn how to play drums by playing along to his favorite classic rock records. Through doing so, he gained a passion for music and became eager to expand his musical knowledge and rhythmic technique. Shortly after, Sam began to take drum lessons at The North Shore Music Institute. He did so under the instruction of Jim Hines (Brian Wilson). Through weekly lessons with Jim, Sam began to learn funk, jazz, rock and rudimental techniques. In high school, Sam was enthralled by the various musical opportunities offered. He became a percussionist in the Marching Giant’s drum line, Highland Park High School Jazz Ensemble, Honors Jazz Combo, and the Highland Park High School’s Wind Ensemble in which he toured China and received both the Most Improved Player Award and Woody Herman Jazz Award. Outside of school, Sam performed with his own Pop-Rock group, Xazz, playing at local Chicago venues like The House of Blues, Elbo Room, and Bottom Lounge. Additionally, the group released two all original EP’s in 2014 and 2015.

In the summer of 2015 Sam deferred acceptance to Berklee College of Music in order to pursue the opportunity to play for viral sensation, Caroline Baran of Post Modern Jukebox, whom he still performs for on occasion. With Baran, Sam played around the Chicagoland area and toured Poland. In the summer of 2016 Sam began playing for his brother, Max Subar, a Chicago-based singer-songwriter. In addition to recording drums and percussion for his debut EP, In A Dream, Sam has played with Max throughout Chicago at venues like Schubas Tavern, Subterranean, The City Winery, and Space. He is also featured on Max’s second EP, What The Story Says, released this past spring. 

In 2016 Sam began attending Berklee College of Music on scholarship as a full-time student studying Professional Music with concentrations in Performance and Music Business. There he pushed himself within his craft and was lucky enough to perform and record with piano extraordinaire Jesus Javier Molina, The Bob Marley Ensemble, The Berklee Turntable Ensemble, Boston based Afro-Pop group Kina Zore, vibraphonist Colin Anderson, guitarists Gabe Childs and Hans Kristian Nordin, and singer songwriters Noah Kesselman and Corrina Tadros. He studied with the likes of Kenwood Dennard, Bob Gullotti, Steve Wilkes, Bob Tamagni, James Murphy, Jeffrey Lockhart and Dave DiCenso. During the summer of 2018, Sam traveled to Kenya with the non-for-profit organization Global Youth Groove along side a small group of Berklee students and faculty. There he had the opportunity to gig around the country. Additionally, he taught under privileged youth and young adults whom he helped forge a relationship with Berklee to pursue higher educational opportunities within the U.S. In the spring semester of 2019, Sam received the Pro Music Academic & Performance Scholarship Award in recognition of his outstanding work within his studies and involvement on and off campus musically. In May of 2019, he graduated from Berklee. His experience culminated as a selected performer in the 2019 Berklee Commencement Concert at The Agganis Arena where he had the immense privilege of performing in front of students and their families, faculty, professors, and honorary doctorates Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott, and Alex Lacamoire.

After graduating, Sam moved back to his hometown of Chicago where he currently pursues a freelance career in drum performance, production and instruction. Today his pocket centric style behind the kit roots itself in rock, folk, funk, jazz, and r&b influences. 


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