Samuel Hankins was born into a musical family. His maternal grandmother played the piano and was a tremendous gospel singer. His father played harmonica and vocals in various R & B bands. His brother plays the piano, majors in voice and teaches elementary school music. So it was inevitable that Sam’s musical education would begin at an early age. Encouraged by his father, Samuel Hankins Sr., young “Hank” began with the guitar. In middle school he switched to the trumpet. Again, encouraged by his father, Sam began playing in churches, professional bands and orchestras.
Sam’s love of music led him to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance. He became active in college joining the distinguish men of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. After college he joined the Air Force Jazz Band, The Pacesetters, stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois. He remained with the Pacesetters as a trumpeter until the Air Force Base closed in 1991. Sam then returned to school, earning both a second Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree in Music Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
As a trumpet player, Sam has performed and recorded with many bands: such as Glenn Miller big band, Clark Terry, circus bands, funk bands, on cruise ships, combos, and commercial recording sessions. He has performed with pop artist groups such as the O’Jays, Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, and the Dells.
Sam left Edison Middle School in 2006 to pursue an international teaching career in the country of Bermuda. He then returned to the US in 2008 to teach at McKay High School in Salem, Oregon, again leading their Jazz Band & Marching Band to place within the top three in state competitions. Sam returned to Chicago in the fall of 2010 and was hired as Band Director at Christ Our Savior Catholic School . This is his first year at COS and he enjoys working with the beginning band students again. His goal is to guide them and impart to them the love of music through learning an instrument of their choice. Not only are they learning the joy and love of producing music but also how to work together as an ensemble.
The trumpet sound on this smooth jazz album is playful and dancy, sometimes reflective & intimate, but often peaceful and becomes a unique expression of the musician, rounding it off with a unique hip hop smooth jazz tune. Nothing Between Us is your choice at CDBaby.