THE AMIGOS (New York City, NY) are a collective dedicated to performing and creating American music through the traditions of collaboration and improvisation. Built on the belief that all strains of American music are branches of the same tree, the Amigos return to their roots and bring together every form from bluegrass to jazz, with intricate vocal harmony and a style all their own. The Amigos have appeared in recent performances with Pete Seeger, David Amram, New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Ranger Doug, The Time Jumpers, and Nellie McKay. They recently gave sold-out performances at New York City’s Lincoln Center and their semi-regular “The Amigos Band Presents” series at New York’s Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola has appeared in previews and critics picks in the New Yorker magazine and the Village Voice. In 2012-13 the Amigos performed over 40 concerts in New York City schools, hospitals, and community centers as part of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s outreach programming. The Amigos will appear on Nashville’s Music City Roots in summer of 2013, and at the Philadelphia Folk Festival in the fall. They are currently recording an album in collaboration with iconic New York composer, musician, and “beat,” David Amram for release in spring of 2014.
JUSTIN POINDEXTER (Vocals/Guitar) Hailing from the rolling hills of North Carolina, vocalist & guitarist Justin Poindexter is the descendant of a long line of southern storytellers. His songs and guitar pickin’ have been featured in award-winning films and albums, and in hundreds of venues from Nashville’s Music City Roots to New York’s Carnegie Hall. Specializing in American roots including jazz, country, blues, folk, and gospel, Justin mines Americaʼs rich cultural history, linking music across genres and presenting it in new contexts. Justin curates community and educational programming for Jazz at Lincoln Center, leading Jazz for Young People touring concerts and writing content for Jazz at Lincoln Center education publications. In 2012 Justin was named the artistic director of the Music Academy of the American South at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
SAM REIDER (Vocals/Accordion) Raised in the musical hotbed of San Francisco, Sam Reider was recognized early on for his talent on the piano. As a teenager he appeared on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz on National Public Radio and performed with artists like David Grisman (Grateful Dead) and John Handy (Charles Mingus). A prolific songwriter and student of American music, Sam studied at Columbia University where he received the highest awards for his comparative research on Woody Guthrie and Ira Gershwin. Coinciding with his burgeoning interest in folk music and his work as a radio host at WKCR 89.9 FM, Reider began playing accordion and experimenting with ways of drawing together folk, jazz, pop, and blues traditions through original composition and performance. Through creative songwriting, humor, and artistic integrity, Reider hopes to inspire audiences to participate in the ongoing tradition of American musical innovation.
NOAH GARABEDIAN (Bass) A native of Berkeley, California, Noah Garabedian holds a BA in Ethnomusicology from the The University of California Los Angeles, and a Master’s in Music Performance from New York University. In 2006 he was awarded a John Coltrane National Scholarship, and in 2007 was selected as a finalist for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz graduate program. In May of 2010, Mr. Garabedian completed the score for the feature length documentary, “Crash Artist: Beyond The Red Carpet.” Mr. Garabedian has served as adjunct faculty at NYU, taught at the Brooklyn Friend’s Summer Jazz Camp, Cazadero Music Camp, and participated in the Music Outreach program between UCLA and the Los Angeles Unified School District. Mr. Garabedian has worked with Ravi Coltrane, Josh Roseman, Ralph Alessi, Andrew D’Angelo, Myron Walden, Ben Perowsky, Julian Pollack, Zongo Junction, as well as his own sextet Big Butter And The Egg Men.
WILL CLARK (Percussion) Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Will Clark moved to New York in 2003 to pursue his love for jazz. As a recipient of the SHO Performing Artist Award, and the John Coltrane Scholarship, he was able to attend the Manhattan School of Music. Clark has performed and recorded with many jazz greats including Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, George Garzone, and Steve Wilson. As a teaching artist, Clark has partnered with the not for profit organization ASTEP (Artist Striving To End Poverty) sharing not just drumset technique but leading hand percussion and even bucket drumming workshops for children in the most impoverished parts of the United States. Will has toured throughout Canada, Europe and the U.S. In New York, Clark has performed at venues from Canegie Hall to Brooklyn Bowl to The Jazz Standard.
BRIANNA THOMAS (Vocals/Tambourine) Born and raised in Illinois, Brianna Thomas made her singing debut at the age of six with her father, Charlie Thomas. Just shy of her teens, Ms. Thomas toured Europe with a Big Band, and by age 16, she had performed at the Montreux, North Sea and Umbria Jazz Festivals as well as in venues ranging from the Bahamas to Geneva, Switzerland. Briannaʼs extensive list of stateside performances includes appearances with Fred Anderson, Von Freeman, Houston Person and the Barber Brothers. Recently, Brianna performed with educator, performer and 9 time Grammy Award winner, Wynton Marsalis, as part of his “Meet Me at the Crossroads” lecture series at Harvard University.