Testimonials

Testimonials

I've known Sammy K for over 10 years! His versatility allows me to use him in any musical situation. From Big Band, small ensemble, pop! You name the genre & he never let's me down! Rock, Funk, Latin! He adds just the right pocket! He never over or underplays! Always rock solid! That's why he's my #1 call &I'm glad to call him my friend! Mike Acosta Grammy winning Musician/Arranger/song writer

"Your enthusiasm, excellent attitude, playing and teaching insights and ability, and friendly insanity are a huge boon for our camp. I watch your students when you are around and I know they love and respect you. The quality of your work with these kids is the best I have ever seen. I expect most of them to be back, and to play much better when they do." Dr Monty Cole - Director of Jazz Studies at Mercer University

"I have worked together with Sammy, on a large variety of performing circumstances. From studio recording to television to live weekly performances with my 20-piece Jazz-Rock ensemble, "This Ain't Your Daddy's Big Band". From the initial telephone contact, till the end of the gig, Sammy is professional, creative and dependable. His concerns to make the project a big success, is a huge asset to anyone using him. Sammy has a unique ability to sense what is needed from him and when. This kind of talent always makes Sammy a pleasure to work with." Rex Merriweather Leader / Trumpet player "This Ain't Your Daddy's Big Band" / Television Executive Producer www.stunttrumpet.com

"Sam "Slammin' Sammy K" Kestenholtz is the real deal! He is a complete , versatile and experienced drum set player and clinician. He can confidently cover all styles with authenticity and the appropriate sound and groove. AND, he is humble and a terrific communicator, so he his also great as a guest clinician/adjudicator at festivals and workshops. His passion for the drum set and drumming is contagious! I recommend you check him out!" Dr. Stephen Zegree - School of Music, Western Michigan University www.wmich.edu/goldcompany

"Sammy did an incredible job with the students, both in his drum clinic and his coaching sessions with several of the bands here at the festival. His enthusiasm is infectious, as he clearly has the time of his life behind the drums. The MU Jazz Band had an absolutely fabulous time - and a fabulous experience - with Sammy 'driving the bus'. The band never swung harder." James Olcott - Director Southwestern Ohio High School Jazz Festival

"As you walk around this earth, you step in faith as your feet stay firmly planted on the floor or ground. Drummers provide a similar perspective in music because everyone stands firm on a Drummers groove, sense of time, and emotional interpretation of the music. Sammy K is a provider of Good Earth and is a wonderful example of how one can step in faith." Will Kennedy - -Contemporary Jazz Drumming great/Grammy winner www.willkennedy.com

Sammy is a soulful drummer with a beautiful touch. He has an otherworldly gift for understanding a wide variety of musical genres- he can lay it out like Buddy Rich or pound it down like Bonham. He gets a song, and knows how to help take it somewhere while never getting it the way. He is classy and kind, positive, and has a blast playing. He is also a very good driver. Amy Cook-Acclaimed Artist and Song Writer

"The orchestra's rhythm section is heard to great advantage behind Sammy K's range of percussion variations that swing with an empathetic surge." Floyd Levin Reviewing Nancy Osborne's "Hot Swing, Cool Jazz" CD

"Sammy K is a dynamic and knowledgeable artist-teacher. He is a perfect fit with the standard of excellence associated with the INTERNATIONAL MUSIC CAMP. We are proud and pleased that he has joined our summer staff!" Joseph T. Alme - CFO, INTERNATIONAL MUSIC CAMP

"Combining both Drum Set and hand Drumming talent is a remarkable skill. Sammy K takes it to a whole new level with a depth of joy, fun, and playfulness. He is a masterful Drum Circle Facilitator and I highly recommend him." Christine Stevens / MSW, MT-BC World renown Drum Circle Facilitator www.ubdrumcircles.com

"The BWJO has rarely sounded so loose and expertly dangerous with Los Angeles Drummer Sammy K launching fireworks as well as a steady drive." Indianapolis Star - Review of Buselli/Wallarab Jazz Orchestra's performance at the Indianapolis Jazz Festival

"First rate musicianship, teaching, and groove! Sammy came in Swinging from the first downbeat! He was equally comfortable driving the big band, interacting with the faculty combo, or coaching the Drum students. He connected with everyone at the gigs and at the camp. His infectious personality, energy, and tireless groove have earned him an open-ended invitation back whenever he can make it. One of the most versatile and musical drummers out there! A true pro's pro! Dr. Scott Belck - Director of Jazz Studies-Cincinatti Conservatory of Music-Associate Professor www.scottbelck.com

"Sammy came in and sight-read the book like a real pro. His dynamics were sensational AND he swung his a*# off!" Mark Buselli - Co founder, writer and arranger for the Buselli/Wallarab Jazz Orchestra www.bwjo.org

"Sammy K is one of the most musical players I have ever worked with. He always brings a freshness and inventiveness to every session and gig I have ever hired him for. Not only does he play his natural ass off, but the attitude and work demeanor he brings with him guarantees that it will always be a pleasurable experience, both musically and personally. I can't say enough good things about him. Oh yeah, I almost forgot - he's pretty good for a White guy..." Ted Perlman - Grammy winning Producer - Arranger, Composer, Guitarist www.tedperlman.com

"Sammy K is a terrific Educator and Musician who can swing a big band like nobody's business, and then easily turn around and instill confidence in a group of inexperienced young Drummers who previously exhibited doubt and frustration. Sammy is a prime example of someone for whom dedication, perseverance and hard work has paid great dividends not only for himself but for all associated with him." Bruce Jacoby - Remo, Inc. / Manager of Marching and Education www.remo.com

"Working at REMO I encounter many artists. It is always a pleasure when a persons incredible talent and musicianship matches their character. Sammy K is a good guy and one of the hardest working drummers I know." Mike DeMenno - REMO Inc / Manager of Remo Music Center

"With Sammy, it's about 2 things: the MUSIC and the STUDENT. Period. He gives the impression that every day he finds himself lucky enough to wake up in the morning and spread the gospel about making great drumming happen. It doesn't matter whether the student is a hotshot Conservatory cat or a middle schooler just starting out, Sammy approaches the deal with the same passion, the same enthusiasm, the same spirit of giving that enables students of all levels to gain maximally from being in his presence. It's not about Sammy, it's about the music. Not Sammy's music, THE music. You'll not find a finer example of sharing and caring and giving people a leg up in the whole world. Simply put, Sammy K is a delight to be around, and the compassion he shares with students gives everyone he touches the best shot at being all they can be." Hal Melia - Northern Kentucky University

"What can I say about Sammy K. Great groove, Great feel and a Great guy. I dig playing with Sammy K." JV Collier - Bassist with Bruce Hornsby/ The Pointer Sisters and more

"I have been thoroughly spoiled playing with Sammy K. In all honesty, every Drummer after him falls short: precision with a heart and soul impossible to find anywhere else." Levi Kreis- 2010 Tony winner Independent Artist www.levikreis.com

"Sammy K. is one of the best live and recording drummer/ percussionists I’ve ever had her pleasure to work with! His ‘time’ is perfect and his taste is impeccable. He is incredibly innovative, too, which makes him all the more of a treasure to a song guy like me. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s one of the nicest guys I know!" DAVID POMERANZ Multi Platinum Award-winning Recording Artist and Songwriter

What People Are Saying About Sammy...

"Sam "Slammin' Sammy K" Kestenholtz is the real deal! He is a complete , versatile and experienced drum set player and clinician. He can confidently cover all styles with authenticity and the appropriate sound and groove. AND, he is humble and a terrific communicator, so he his also great as a guest clinician/adjudicator at festivals and workshops. His passion for the drum set and drumming is contagious! I recommend you check him out!" Dr. Stephen Zegree - School of Music, Western Michigan University www.wmich.edu/goldcompany

Sammy K