Sami Hope

Meet Sami Hope

From a young age, Sami Hope was singing and writing poetry and songs, but her musical career didn't take off until third grade when she picked up her first musical instrument – the clarinet. She built her musical foundation upon years of clarinet lessons; junior high, high school, and college orchestras and jazz ensembles, and at summer music programs, including two summers of music theory and blues and jazz performance at Berklee College of Music in Boston. There she learned that the best way to improve at anything is to work with people much more talented than yourself.

Sami Hope began classical vocal lessons at age 14; she continued singing on her own, in her high school a cappella group and in her college jazz band. In high school she realized that singing was one of the things that made her the happiest.When Sami took her first scat solo in her college jazz band, it was apparent that her years as a clarinet player had shaped her singing: A musical peer in band noted that her voice and note choices sounded like her jazz clarinet solos. Improvising on the clarinet in jazz band has also been one of Sami’s musical highlights. She loved the feeling of spontaneous self-expression laid over practiced chord progressions being carried by the invigorating energy of a live band. This was one place she felt she could truly let go. When recording Untangle The Threads, she encouraged the musicians to also let go, go crazy, and improvise licks when they were not performing particular composed parts.

Sami started writing songs at a very young age. As a little girl she would improvise short blues songs and choreograph musical performances with her older brother. In fourth grade she started a singing group with three friends who would write songs together. Luckily, her songwriting skills did not max out in fourth grade, and she continued to write lyrics and melodies as the years went by.

As Sami's desire to sing and write songs grew, she saw a greater need to learn to play a chordal instrument, a useful tool for writing music. She knew this would take her writing to the next level. She had been amused by the twang of the banjo, and in her junior year of college she happened upon a banjo in a friend’s dormitory closet. She began writing songs as soon as she had the banjo in her hands. Knowing only bar chords, she created unconventional chord progressions as she found harmonies to match her vocal melodies. She spent the next couple of years teaching herself banjo chords and picking patterns; she is still learning the intricacies of the instrument. 

Her lyrics are inspired by the search for love and self-fulfillment, by dreams and fears, and by the mysterious and awe-inspiring nature of the universe. Her vocal melodies and musical themes are inspired by the music she’s listened to over the years: the folk songs of Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling, the harmonies of Fleet Foxes, the dark and sultry vibe of Fiona Apple and Amy Winehouse, and the jazzy influences of John Mayer and Jason Mraz.

Her style has been shaped by music greats like Jeff Buckley and Led Zeppelin and by up-and-coming artists like Matt Duke and Julia Easterlin. Sami used to practice singing along to Matt’s and Julia’s songs; their haunting music and lyrics inspired her own.

Chuck Treece (drums), Sami Hope, and Alfred Goodrich, producer.In her last year of college, Sami met producer Alfred Goodrich. Alfred's guidance helped to strengthen Sami's already unique song writing. For three years they collaborated with local studio musicians and friends, taking her musical vision and her vocal and banjo blueprints and creating full-band versions of her songs for Untangle the Threads, her debut album. (Sami's pictured with drummer Chuck Treece, right, and Alfred Goodrich, left.)

The music that colored in these blueprints drew on an even wider range of Sami's musical influences and listening favorites. All Sami needs to be happy are some sweet eastern polyrhythms and harmonies, psychedelic atmospheric elements, and some crunchy guitars over a funky bass line. At times, her musical collaboration reflects this. She likes to mix several genres within one song; you can hear shades of the blues, jazz, reggae, hip-hop, folk, classic rock, alternative rock, and world music in her tunes.

Sami Hope is thoroughly grateful for the dedication, excitement and talent of the musicians with whom she's had the honor of working. She has had the most fun of her life working on this album. She hopes that she and the Silvertone Collaborative, as she dubbed this group of studio musicians, has broken the rules of what is expected in a way that is refreshing and exciting to her listeners.

"Sami Hope’s soulful, sultry voice navigates an organic, eclectic mix of light, airy textures, funky beats and gritty rock elements that teeter on the edge of chaos, fluttered with quirky chord progressions and ever-changing meters. Her diverse taste in music and her years of studying performance and music theory, particularly jazz, shape the sounds she uses for song writing – pushing the boundaries of what you might expect from a banjo-fueled musician.”


About Sami

Sami Hope is a Philly-based, banjo pickin', clarinet tootin' and steel drum hittin' singer-songwriter. Her music, described as Progressive World Folk, draws on a wide and varied range of influences. It’s a party around the world.



Get the Album


UNTANGLE THE THREADS, Sami Hope's debut album, was nominated for three Independent Music Awards!

Stream or purchase on Amazon Music.

Best love song:

Colliding Like Galaxies

Best eclectic song:
Tidal Wave

Best album/eclectic: 
Untangle the Threads

The IMAS honor exceptional independent articles traditionally ignored by mainstream media and big box retailers.




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