The Sound
Sam Burckhardt and his Combo craft “warm, sweetly textured originals that strike an artful balance between contemporary and classic.”
– -Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Sun-Times

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. Their new CD, A Walk In Time, which was released in 2002, received three out of four stars in the Chicago Sun-Times. Kevin Toelle in the Illinois Entertainer writes: “Burckhardt demonstrates impressive technique, musical imagination, arranging ability, and a relentless sense of swing on this top-notch outing.”

The Story
Born in Basel, Switzerland, 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, touring with them from 1996 to 1998. He formed his own group, the Sam Burckhardt Combo, in 1999 and now plays regularly in Chicago, nationally, and abroad with a line-up ranging from duo to quintet, and occasional performances with a nine-piece group.