Sam Waymon

Sam Waymon

Real Name:
Samuel L. Waymon
Sam Waymon, a creative legend who has contributed to local, national and world culture. He arrived in Rockland County in the early 70s with actor/playwright/novelist/filmmaker Bill Gunn, for whom he performed as an actor as well as provided the score for one of the groundbreaking films of black cinema, Ganja & Hess (1973). Shot partly (and recognizably) in the Nyack Center when it was an active church, Ganja & Hess is the story of a black vampire, and much more.

A seminal work of black cinema, directed by Rockland writer/director Bill Gunn. It was honored as one of the ten best American films of its decade by the Cannes Film Festival but was barely distributed to American audiences. Later Sam appeared in and contributed music to Jonathan Demme’sPhiladelphia. The evening will include film clips, a Q&A between Sam and local historian Bill Batson (Nyack Sketch Log), and Ganja & Hessproducer Chiz Schultz, and will culminate with Sam Waymon and the New School Band in a performance dedicated to Nina Simone. Sam Waymon’s sister, Nina Simone

Born in North Carolina, Sam Waymon began his musical odyssey playing along with his sister, Eunice. His sister left North Carolina in the ’50s and traveled north to pursue her career. Along the way she dropped her given name and became one of music’s most influential and independent musicians, known as Nina Simone. Sam performed with and wrote music for his sister for over ten years but finally broke away to develop a style of his own that combines gospel, R&B, blues and jazz. Sam went on to record for record labels like: RCA, Polygram, and his own label Resolution records. He has worked side by side with legendary artists such as Miles Davis, Donnie Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Phyllis Hyman, The 5th dimension, Main Ingredient, and the list goes on and on.


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