Samson Schmitt: Natural Talent Runs “In the Family”

Couple of weeks ago Acoustic Guitar Videos featured a clip by Swan Berger, a young kid playing gypsy jazz at a level that most adults will never experience. The video went viral here with an estimate of over 30,000 viewings. If you haven’t seen that video, I highly recommend you check it out.

Well, Swan Berger is not the only kid that plays the Gypsy Jazz style so fluently with notes running through his veins. Here’s a video of a very young Samson Schmitt with his incredibly talented father Dorado giving a guitar lesson of sorts.  This is how the Gypsy players teach their family music.  No, not reading notes… it’s all by ear!

Samson’s playing and ear talent is every bit as impressive as Swan Berger’s playing so, if you thought that was amazing, you just have to be equally impressed with this vid.

I’m not sure how old Samson is here (maybe 8, maybe 12?) or when it was filmed, but Samson has since grown up and has achieved some major guitar accomplishments-

Samson Schmitt‘s biography:

 ”Born on September 20, 1979, he first learned how to play guitar with his father Dorado. He plays in public for the first time at 12 at the International Jazz Festival in Munich, Germany. This concert is an opportunity for the Gypsy children of the new generation to play together on the same stage, with Timbo Merhrstein on violin and Yano Scordo and Jouani Scordo on rhythm guitars.

 In jazz, Samson particularly appreciates Luis Salinas, Stochelo Rosenberg, Dorado Schmitt, Jaco Pastorius, Didier Lockwood, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald, Barry White, Stevie Wonder, Billi Paul as well as the groups The Wispers and the Bee Gees.

He claims to be influenced by George Benson, Richard Galliano, Bireli Lagrene, Toots Thielemans, Florin Nicaulescu, Didier Lockwood, Sylvain Luc, Dominique Di Piazza and Angelo Debarre.

From 1990 to 1999 he played with the Dorado Schmitt Quintet, the group Kakiweiss (rhythm guitar) and with Hono and Gino Reinhardt.

In 2000 and 2001 he played with Alexandre Cavalieres, Tchavolo Schmitt, Povro Sinto, Angelo Debarre (Corsican Trio), Jimmy Rosenberg and with his own group the Samson Schmitt Quartet.

He has played in many festivals between 1994 and 2001, including the Sinti jazz Night in Munich, Germany, Jazz Sur le Feu in St. André les Vergers, the Gipsy Swing Festival in Angers, the Festival Manouche Appona in Strasbourg, the Festival of Espace Pompidou in Vincennes, France. He participated in the Nuits de la Guitare in Patrimonio, Corsica where he invited Dominique Di Piazza (July 2002) and in the Festival Sons D’Hiver in Paris (2002) invited by his father Dorado Schmitt.

In April 2002, he records his first CD “Djieske”. It was published in october 2002 and was rewarded for the “FFF Telerama” and “3 stars in Jazzman” as well as other distinctions.

Since 2002 (in 2007 il will be the 5th time) he plays with Dorado at the « Django Week » at « Birdland » in New York, performs with the saxophonist / clarinettist James Carter and the guitarist Georges Benson as well as Angelo Debarre or the clarinettist Ken Peplowski. In 2004, a film was made which render well the mood of this « Django » festival.

From 2002 untill today, he travells around the world (USA, Europe, Japan, China) with his own Gypsy Jazz Band, without forget to be often with his father Dorado at the main jazz festival (In USA : Chicago, San Francisco, New-York, Washington, In Europe : Samois, Sète, Liberchies, Marciac, Juan-les-Pins, Vienne, Patrimonio, Fribourg, Oslo, Rjiswijk, …).

In November 2002 he was invited, with Dorado, to the Django Reinhardt Festival at the Birdland club in New York, giving him the opportunity to play with Paquito D’ Rivera, James Carter and George Benson.

In 2005, appeal to play with a band of young gypsy jazz guitarist « les enfants de Django, nouvelle génération » (Django’s children, new generation) with Yorgi Loeffer, Mike Reinhardt and, as sideman, Mayo Hubert, Gigi Loeffler and Jean-Luc Miotti on the double bass. A CD is made at the « Meridien » (Paris) during the JVC festival in Paris. more

If you like this video, share it with your friends and family. They will not only be impressed but, they will thank you for it!