Shortly after arriving in the U.S., Samuel Torres's career took a dramatic turn when he was tapped by famed Cuban trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval to join his group.
Torres spent four years touring the world and recording with the jazz great, polishing his ever-expanding talents while attracting the attention of a long list of renowned artists with whom he would eventually collaborate.
Over time, he would perform and/or record with a veritable “who’s who” of the jazz, Latin pop and salsa world, including such luminaries as Tito Puente, Paquito D’Rivera, Chick Corea, Alejandro Sanz, Ricky Martin, Don Byron, Richard Bona, Lila Downs, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Angelique Kidjo, Marc Anthony, Rubén Blades, Fonseca, Andrés Cepeda, Thalía, and his country’s own international superstar, Shakira.
His talents have also been featured in concerts with classical orchestras as Berlin Symphoniker, City of London Sinfonia, Boston Pops, Bogotá Philharmonic, Medellín Philharmonic, Delaware University Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Nashville Symphony.
Rounding out the Colombian musician’s résumé are his show-stopping performance for the 2000 edition of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, where he placed second, and his association with Latin Percussion, Inc., for whom he produced the DVD Drum Solos Revisited. Martin Cohen, the founder of LP who has collaborated with most of the Latin world’s finest percussionists over the past four decades, lauds Torres as the most talented arranger and producer he has encountered in over 25 years.
In 2006, Torres released Skin Tones, his debut recording as a leader and an album that quickly solidified his reputation as one of the most creative percussionists in Latin jazz today.
In 2012 Torres was awarded a New Jazz Works Grant by Chamber Music America, for which he wrote a profoundly deep 10 movement suite that addresses a tragic issue occurring in his beloved native country. His 2015 release for the Zoho Label, Forced Displacement is dedicated to the victims of the violence in Colombia caused by the ongoing conflict.
"Balanced and brimming with emotion, sophisticated and passionate” — Downbeat Magazine
“A percussionist with a genuine gift for piercing melody and provocative harmony” — JazzTimes Magazine
"music for social justice, built to inform, inspire, enrage, and explore” — All About Jazz
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