Sam Breckenridge is an accomplished Minneapolis-based finger-style acoustic guitarist and composer. Sam quickly established his presence in the Minneapolis music scene in 1999 as the principal songwriter of the acoustic duo “Afterall”, along with singer / lyricist Tim Griesgraber. Sam’s expressive acoustic guitar playing and his natural ability to create striking original compositions allowed Afterall to enjoy over 10 years of regular performances in Minneapolis / St. Paul’s finest venues.
In 2010, a watershed moment occurred in Sam’s musical journey when he discovered guitarists such as Michael Hedges, Andy Mckee, and Erik Mongrain. For many years, Sam had composed his music in alternate, non-standard guitar tunings, much like these artists. However, Sam was immediately drawn to the genre’s lightning fast harmonics, classical right-hand movements, and percussive beats on the body of the guitar, and knew immediately that he had found the style that would define him as a musician.
At that point, Sam decided to dedicate himself to studying the instrument like never before. His playing rapidly translated to fingerstyle composing, which immediately led to a wonderful period of writing and performing. Sam is currently playing solo acoustic shows in the midwest, introducing audiences to the skillful, innovative, and soulful playing of his original music.
Sam has had a feature in the “Minnesota Guitarist” magazine, has been featured on The Minnesota Guitar Society’s website, has been invited to play at Minnestoa’s Guitar Concert Series at Sundin Music Hall, and has over 12 years of live stage experience as a Twin Cities musician. In September 2013, Sam’s original composition “Much Obliged” was included in City Pages “Top 10 Must See MN Music Videos.” Additionally, two of Sam’s original solo instrumental pieces are featured on Tim Reede Custom Guitar’s Compilation Album to promote his instruments in all of the major North American guitar shows in 2013-2016. Sam has instrument endorsements with Tim Reede Custom Guitars, and K&K Pickups.
Over the years, Elgin has performed in local coffee houses; restaurants; Mall of America, Minneapolis - Saint Paul Airport, wine tastings; Bed and Breakfasts; weddings; house concerts; church services and open-mic nights with the Minnesota Guitar Society. Elgin also was awarded a certificate of special congressional recognition from congressman John Kline for his service to the community through benefit concerts to help the homeless, cancer victims and programs for single moms. Elgin has shared the stage with some of the artists who continue to inspire him including: Dean Magraw, Dan Schwartz, Ben Woolman, Dylan Mckinstry, Dan Neale, Tim Sparks, Greg Herriges, Steve Lehto and John Wright.
Gabriel Andrews is an emerging Australian acoustic guitarist, taking first prize in the 2014 Wilson Centre International Guitar Competition (Milwaukee, USA), and opening for Canadian Guitarist Jesse Cook in the evening showcase. In 2015, Gabriel completed a Master of Music (MM) at the Peck School of the Arts (PSOA), University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (UWM), working as a tutor in The Bachelor of Music program during his studies. In October of the same year, he placed third in the Kentucky International Home of the Legends Thumb-picking Championship.
In August 2013, Gabriel worked with Italian guitar virtuoso Pino Forastiere as part of his masters program, subsequently travelling to Tivoli (Italy) to study with Forastiere in December of the same year. In addition to UWM workshops, presented by leading guitarists Clive Carroll (England), Mike Dawes (England), Billy McLaughlan (USA), Alex de Grassi (USA), and Lucas Michailidis (Australia), Gabriel has thrived under the principal tutelage and learning philosophy of Professor John Stropes, receiving a Chancellor’s Scholarship and Distinguished Graduate Fellowship nomination from the PSOA in his first year.
He released his first solo album Pathways at the Blue Mountains Music Festival in Sydney, Australia (2013) before leaving to undertake the MM at UWM. In May 2014, he launched Pathways in the US, performing at the Zelazo Centre for the Performing Arts (Milwaukee), promoted by WMSE Milwaukee, Taurus Arts Management, Hausch Design, and the Hudson Business Lounge. In 2015, Gabriel’s composition “Here & Now” made
it to the semifinal round of the International Song Writing
Contest Instrumental category.
Gabriel graduated in 2008, with honors, from the Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, Australia. Studying under the internationally acclaimed Australian guitarist, Lucas Michailidis, Gabriel was the first
contemporary guitarist to enter the Conservatorium’s elite performance stream.
However, it is not in institutions but on the stage that this musician has flourished. Performing since the age of five, his band Flavus made it to the arena stage by age fifteen performing in front of 10,000 people at the Rod Lava Arena in 2001. Whether as a session player for big band rhythm sections, jazz trios, cover bands, or pit orchestras; lead guitarist for original outfits; accompanist for singers; or as a soloist on acoustic guitar; Gabriel is at home on the stage and is on the verge of a promising career in Music.
To this dedicated musician who strives to learn and develop every day, composing and performing are a way of life. With his love of reflection combined with a passion for living, Gabriel hopes his music transcends just the notes, to express deep emotion, and encourage in listeners self-reflection and a desire to live a fulfilling life.