With a background in both drum set and percussion performance, Sam has performed with artists such as Dave Brubeck, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Lena Horne, and Al Martino.
He has performed with the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Orchestra 2001, Salute to Vienna Orchestra, and the Philly Pops. He also performs with his own jazz trio and is an active drum set clinician, presenting clinics in the U.S. and abroad.
“My son progressed to a level where he was no longer challenged by local instructors. In his first lesson, it was obvious that Sam has the knowledge, skills and experience to take my son “to the next level” and beyond. Sam continues to demonstrate a sincere interest in my son’s progress and success in his performances, rehearsals and auditions; and always made sure my son was prepared for them. In addition, Sam looks for new opportunities for my son to further his development and, he was instrumental in helping my son be a part of several advanced-level Jazz ensembles. Although an hour’s drive from our home, lessons with Sam Ruttenberg are well worth the trip.”
Sam has also 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. He also teaches 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.
“I do not only consider Sam Ruttenberg to be the best teacher and drummer I have personally known, but also one of the best friends and mentors I have ever had. I have taken lessons from him for roughly 7 years, and known him much longer, and I can honestly say I have never left a single lesson without feeling more and more excited to come back the next week. I’m certain that as my life moves in different directions, as long as I’m within reach, I’ll make sure to pay him a visit for the occasional lesson, just as a way for us to catch up.”
Sam has written articles for PAS Percussive Notes and Modern Drummer Magazine. He also transcribed and worked closely on the creative aspect with Joe Morello on his Master Studies II book.
Sam wrote his own book entitled “Drum Tips” (HoneyRock 2009), which is designed to help drummers develop better technique and coordination through increased musicianship.
“Our daughter has only been taking lessons with Sam for a few months but, in that time, her skills have grown by leaps and bounds. Her school band director considers her to be the best drummer in the school, nominating her for the “All South Jersey Band” and “All Cherry Hill Band” which she has participated in. Sam’s lessons go beyond just music, he teaches her not to accept being “the best Girl Drummer, but to be the best Drummer!” Sam has a very caring and nurturing style that drives his students to push harder. When the time comes for our youngest child to start with lessons, the only choice for us will be with Sam.”
Sam also created the Vic Firth HingeStix® practice drumsticks, which help drummers to feel the rebound, develop finger technique, hold the stick properly, and feel the whipping motion of the Moeller technique.
Sam received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Miami and a Master’s Degree from the Juilliard School, and has endorsements with Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks, Remo Drumheads, and Taye Drums.
“My teenage daughter starting lessons with Sam a year ago, with no prior drumming experience. Not only is he an excellent professional drummer, but his warm, patient, and encouraging manner makes him the perfect teacher. He has taken her through all the drum rudiments and put her on set with the very first lesson. Her progress has been amazing! And most importantly, she looks forward to her lessons every week! Sam is a wonderful teacher.”
Named as one of Dom Famularo‘s Best Drum Teachers from Modern Drummer Magazine.