The first quarter of 2018 is now complete, and I am excited to state that I recently received a grant with the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund (www.artsfund.ca) to record my first full-length album - a direct follow-up to my Glass Demons EP released last year. I am recording with Ian Graham at Small Dog Studios - a completely off-the-grid...
|Date & Info||Venue||Location||Share|
|2018-07-05||The Easy Pour Wine Bar||Blair, Ontario, Canada||Tweet|
|2018-07-07||PRIVATE||Ancaster, Ontario, Canada||Tweet|
|2018-07-22||TBA||Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada||Tweet|
|2018-07-28||TBA||TBA, TBA, Canada||Tweet|
|2018-08-02||Baba's Lounge||Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada||Tweet|
|2018-08-03||The Nook & Cranny||Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada||Tweet|
|2018-08-08||The Red Herring||St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada||Tweet|
|2018-08-15||Grimross Brewing||Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada||Tweet|
|2018-08-18||Callie's Pub w/ Josh McKinkley||Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada||Tweet|
|2018-12-21||PRIVATE||Waterloo, Ontario, Canada||Tweet|
"Our jaws are still dropped from the incredibly talented @sammydukemusic performance this morning!" - CP24 Breakfast Weekend
"We have to talk about the chimes. Sammy Duke deftly plays the instrument with his elbows but there's much more to him than just his unorthodox playing of this instrument. In fact, in addition to chimes, Duke plays the guitar, bass synthesizer and percussion (with both feet.) And if you're still not convinced, Duke's bluesy voice will get you." - Del Cowie, CBC Music
"A visual feast rivaled only by his sound." - Leah Frieday, Pathe Magazine
"...a tour de force in his own right." - John and Sandra Barth, Lakes District Arts Council, Burns Lake, BC
You’d never be able to mistake Sammy Duke for anyone else once he starts performing onstage – he’s the gentle giant playing upwards of eight instruments at the same time!
The friendly, unstoppable one-man-band that is Samuel “Sammy Duke” Dlugokecki is proficient at 13 musical instruments, and is a master of the cajon hand drum. As a solo artist, he simultaneously plays guitar, sings, beats on a drum, plays bass synthesizer pedals with his foot, plays percussion with his other foot, and an occasionally liberated hand – or elbow, as in the case of his famed “elbow chimes.” Even in one of his other steady gigs, as a chosen sideman for Alysha Brilla, Sammy plays bass, cajon, shakers, and tambourine, all while singing harmony.
Almost as impressive, at his own shows, is his self-deprecating charm and wit onstage, entrancing and comforting audiences of all kinds – with the occasional slice of dark humour thrown in, just for fun. Not to mention his infectious, extremely lively energy. As a solo artist, he’s performed at the first-ever Skylight Festival, the Summer Lights Festival, Taste of the Kingsway, Night/Shift, Contra Artufex, and Altekrea, and played nationwide in a multitude of venues.
No wonder Velvet Rope magazine called him an “amazing and diversified talent,” while The Ontarion celebrated his “indomitable stage presence.” Coral Andrews of 98.5 FM CKWR says, “His lyrically thoughtful world-folk-rock fusion sound… is similar to the soft-voiced spiritual richness of Craig Cardiff and Bruce Cockburn, melded with the breathy vocals of late father-son songsmiths Tim and Jeff Buckley.”
Unsurprisingly, Sammy grew up in one of the most musical families you could possibly imagine: his father, mother, brother, and his entire father’s side of the family are all musicians – including his grandmother, the matriarch of his dad’s family. He started playing music in church at 13, joined his first band at 16, and by his twenties had chosen to live his life as a musician.
Sammy played on both of Alysha Brilla’s JUNO-nominated albums (In My Head and Womyn, both nominated for Adult Contemporary Album of the Year), and he’s appeared, both solo and with Brilla, on Rogers TV, Breakfast Television, CBC Radio One, and CP24 Breakfast Weekend, who – after his performance – tweeted "Our jaws are still dropped from the incredibly talented @sammydukemusic performance this morning!"
Sammy has also built a strong reputation as a reliable session performer in the Southern Ontario music scene, working alongside a wide array of musicians of varying styles – including a trio with pianist Becky Reesor and djembe player Gerima Harvey (whose father and uncle are founding and current members of JUNO-winning reggae band Messenjah); gospel singers Michael Austin Harris and Verese Bowen; multi-instrumentalist, fellow one-man-band, and his mentor, Arun Pal; and playing bass in an experimental jazz-punk band, The Namedroppers (featuring Anthony Damiao). He’s played and/or recorded for Cecile Monique, Meggi Faye, David Wilkinson, and Shane Philips.
He’s also a man of conscience, who’s played numerous fundraisers and justice events, including David Suzuki's Soupstock, The Terry Fox Run, CBC Sounds of the Season, Lifeline Syria, International Justice Mission, World Vision, and Chippewas Solidarity. Sammy also teaches classes for children and adults with special needs, in his hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo. And he undertook a 24-date school tour with Brilla in Kelowna, BC, bringing messages of social equity to youth across the Okanagan Valley.
Sammy launched his debut original music EP, Glass Demons, in March of 2017. Recorded at Catherine North, in Hamilton, Glass Demons was mixed and mastered by Dan Hosh, whose client list includes City and Colour, Whitehorse, Elliott BROOD, and Arkells.
As opposed to his sweet stage presence, and in keeping with his conscience, Sammy’s lyrics are more serious, discussing everything from political injustice, to personal battles, insecurity, mortality, and the like. The extensive, folk/rock/progressive title track, “Glass Demons,” examines how we can sometimes bottle up emotions and “inner demons,” struggling to release them and be healed. “Sympathy,” a funky, moody shuffle, fueled by electric piano is about the need to step into the shoes of those facing personal challenges, rather than being quick to judge. The troubadour prog-folk of “The Traveller” cleverly encapsulates the Kübler-Ross stages of grief in five verses, representing denial, anger, bartering, depression, and finally, acceptance. The pretty, delicate “Feel Your Breath” is about feeling distraught, then suddenly, mysteriously, experiencing calm. “What You'll Leave Behind” with its breathy vocals and captivating acoustic guitar, muses about what impact we’ll leave on the world, and how people will remember us.
The way Sammy writes, sings, plays and performs, you can bet he’ll be remembered for bringing joy, beauty and truth into the world with his music.