Sam Miltich is a self-taught jazz guitarist born and raised in the woods of northern Minnesota. Sam burst on the scene in his teens as a young lion of gypsy jazz, joining Paul Mehling’s Hot Club of San Francisco and touring internationally with the world-renowned Robin Nolan Trio. Sam’s fluid and instinctive sound have graced hundreds of stages, from small-town bars on the Iron Range to Lincoln Center.
In addition to fronting his own band, the Clearwater Hot Club, Sam records and performs extensively with Minneapolis-based jazz singers, Connie Evingson and Charmin Michelle; legendary Twin Cities saxophonist Dave Karr; and Dutch swing violin maestro, Tim Kliphuis. Sam has also collaborated with mandolin virtuoso Peter Ostroushko and classical guitarist Joan Griffith. In 2010, he received a grant to study intensively with Belgian guitar icon Fapy Lafertin and has since then received many more regional and federal arts grants to further his musical development and creative projects. In addition to gypsy swing and traditional jazz, Sam’s musical interests include Brazilian choro, French musette, Eastern European tamburitza, and other forms of traditional folk music.
By choice, Sam lives in northern Minnesota, performing at a very high level while maintaining life in a working-class, small-town setting. Sam is committed to bringing world-class jazz to a part of the country where live jazz performances are otherwise quite rare. In addition to a busy touring schedule, Sam also hosts a weekly Jazz at the VFW night in his home town of Grand Rapids, MN where audiences can expect to see frequent cameo appearances by well-known musicians from the Twin Cities and beyond. He also organizes the Itasca Orchestra String Program Summer Jazz Camp which teaches young classically-trained musicians how to improvise.
Sam has also been featured on National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition,” and performed for Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. He also hosted his own radio program “Sam and Friends” which showcased a year of interviews with renown Minnesota jazz musicians for KAXE radio.