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Sam Reider coming to OK Theatre

Sam Reider coming to OK Theatre

By Katy Nesbitt
For Wallowa Valley Online

ENTERPRISE – Sam Reider brings his self-styled Eastern European Gypsy band music to the OK Theatre in Enterprise Oct. 16.

 Reider’s compositions run from classical and jazz piano to raucous numbers that include the accordion and saxophone. He said he turned from his formal piano training to folk music while studying at Columbia University – sort of on a lark.

“I moved to New York City to be a jazz pianist and took a left turn in college when I got into folk and rock and roll,” Reider said.

With an accordion he swapped for another instrument with a former music teacher, Reider said he entertained college kids on the weekends.

“I didn’t know the first thing about how to play it, thought it would be a funny joke to bring it to New York,” Reider said.

When he showed up at a gig with the accordion, he said the joke spiraled out of control.

“Some friends had a band in college and I found the accordion is more fun than piano – and I like fun music,” Reider said.

He even had the nerve to take his accordion to the Blue Note, a famous New York jazz club where he got a favorable response with his “jazz accordion” style. Reider said it’s become his ticket to travel performing in China, Laos, Cambodia, Turkey, France and Belgium.

Reider said, “The accordion is how I’ve been able to collaborate with musicians all over the world.”

Take a listen to some of Reider’s music on his website, to get an idea of how his version of folk music is a big hit with music festival crowds as well as audiences around the globe. Gypsy music definitely comes to mind, as well as good, old fashioned romp, stomping dance music.

Fans of the OK Theatre have seen Reider perform with Sierra Hull and Phoebe Hunt, two super performers coming out of the Nashville scene. Redier, a California native, spent the last decade or so in Brooklyn, but works with musicians from all over the country. He said the members of his band have all played in Enterprise, as well, and are eager to return to the restored, historic venue.

“There are six of us on this tour – we have a big sound,” Reider said, who plays piano and accordion and joined by a mandolin, violin, bass, guitar and saxophone.

Reider said his ensemble resembles a European Gypsy Band – with high energy, fast-paced original compositions that are mostly instrumentals. While most of the instruments are typical to bluegrass and folk, the saxophone brings in his “jazz” side.

One thing about the band, it’s very fun and exciting with lots of surprises – we’ll keep the audience on their toes,” Reider said.

Tickets to see Sam Reider and the Human Hands are available at www.eventbrite, Joseph Hardware and The Bookloft for $20 and $25 at the OK Theatre.

The show starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, October 16.

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Katy Nesbitt can be reached via

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