With a background in both drum set and percussion performance, Sam Ruttenberg has performed with artists Dave Brubeck, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, and Lena Horne, among many other stars and recording artists. He has performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Orchestra 2001, Salute to Vienna Orchestra, and the Philly Pops. He is also an active drum set clinician, presenting clinics in the United States, Europe, Ukraine, and South America. Sam has toured and recorded with the Houston Symphony, Ballet, and Pops Orchestras, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, and the Kennedy Center.
Sam’s students include Justin Faulkner (Branford Marsalis) and Shakoor Sanders (Tim Warfield, Wallace Roney). He has given lessons to John Roberts (Janet Jackson), Shirazette Tinnin (Tia Fuller), and taught a drummer in Paris who made the move to Philadelphia to study with Sam at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Sam has also taught students via Skype in Finland, France, Portugal, Ukraine, and Singapore.
Many of Sam’s students perform in the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Kimmel Center Jazz Program, as well as the All South Jersey and NJ All State, and All National Jazz and Concert Bands. One of Sam’s students recently won top high school timpanist in the United States in the NAFME All American Orchestra as well as winning first place in all 3 categories (snare drum, keyboard percussion,and timpani) in the All South Jersey Band and Orchestra.
Sam teaches (since 1994) at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia and has taught at Camden County College, and Rutgers University Camden. Sam is also on the board of the Professional Drum Teachers Guild, and was named one of the top drum teachers worldwide from Modern Drummer Magazine in “Dom Famularo’s Teachers List” (Modern Drummer November 2015).
Sam has written articles for PAS Percussive Notes and Modern Drummer Magazine. Sam was a longtime student of Joe Morello, and transcribed and worked closely on the creative aspect of his Master Studies II book. Sam also wrote his own book entitled “Drum Tips” (Honey Rock 2009).
Sam also created the HingeStix® practice drumsticks, a learning tool that teaches drummers the free stroke rebound, finger technique, proper grip, and double and buzz stroke roll. The HingeStix won BEST in SHOW at NAMM 2011.
Sam received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Miami, a Master’s Degree from the Juilliard School, and has endorsements with Sabian, Vic Firth, Remo, and Ludwig.