Music database


Sam Burckhardt

Sam Burckhardt

born on 7/7/1957 in Sursee, LU, Switzerland

Alias Samuel B. Burckhardt

Links (English, German)

Born in Switzerland in 1957, Sam Burckhardt played his first gig at age 14 sitting in on drums for blues pianist Eddie Boyd. In 1975 he accompanied legendary blues pianist Sunnyland Slim in two concerts in Europe, and in 1982 Sam moved to Chicago to join Sunnyland's band as a saxophonist. Prior to Sunnyland's death in 1995, his band performed as the Big Four in concerts here and in Europe.

In 1994, Sam was an original member of the Mighty Blue Kings, one of the biggest bands of the neo-swing movement. Over 60,000 copies were sold of their CD, Meet Me In Uptown. Sam left the Blue Kings to help form a 10-piece jump-swing band, The Big Swing (later known as the Vanguard Aces), touring with them from 1996 to 1998. He formed his own group, the Sam Burckhardt Combo, in 1999 and now plays regularly in Chicago and abroad with a line-up ranging from trio to quintet, and occasional performances with a larger group. He comes on tour to Switzerland on a regular basis. The Sam Burckhardt Combo brings together influences from jump blues to Thelonious Monk in a lively mix of jazz, blues and swing, and has been described as one of the best bands in Chicago. Their album, Chicago Swing, was ranked number five in the Sun-Times list of the Top 10 Chicago Albums of 1999.

Sam Burckhardt was the recipient of the Swiss Blues Award 2008, and one of five nominees for the Swiss Jazz Award 2016.

Sam Burckhardt and his Combo craft "warm, sweetly textured originals that strike an artful balance between contemporary and classic." (Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun-Times)


• Fly Over – Sam Burckhardt and Joel Paterson, Airway Records 4768, 2015

• Duets – Sam Burckhardt, Airway Records 4767, 2014

• Bobolink – Sam Burckhardt, Airway Records 4766, 2011

• Sunnyland -- Zora Young, featuring Hubert Sumlin, Airway Records 4765, 2009

• Stephan Grieder, organ – Sam Burckhardt, tenor sax, Airway Records 4764, 2007

• Once Forever -- Sam Burckhardt, Airway Records 4763, 2006

• Bob Is Back In Town – Bob Stroger, Airway Records 4762, 2006

• Trio -- Sam Burckhardt. Airway Records 4761, 2003

• A Walk In Time -- Sam Burckhardt. Airway Records 4760, 2002

• Chicago Swing -- Sam Burckhardt. Airway Records 4759, 1999

• Meet Me In Uptown -- Mighty Blue Kings. RJ Records, 1996.

• Going To Chicago -- Big Four Blues Band. CMAMU, 1994.

• Sunnyland Slim, Live In Europe 1975 -- Sunnyland Slim. Airway Records 4757, 1990

• Be Careful How You Vote -- Sunnyland Slim. Earwig Records, 1989.

• The Sunnyland Slim Blues Band - Chicago Jump -- Evidence Music, 1985.