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Judge for Samantha Preis

Easton, CT
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Portrait of Samantha Preis
*Review by Brian Tijl (Literary Writer and Fan):

"Weaving together elements of jazz, soul, and pop genres, Samantha Preis has succeeded in creating a unique sound that transcends the realm of traditional pop songs and settles somewhere much more innovative. Musically speaking, Samantha is quite competent; using a variety of times and techniques, her piano work establishes a backdrop against which the song can be set. Although she may have more then 12 years of piano playing experience, Sam is still developing her own musical voice, which can be seen in the intricacy and experimentalism of her recent work. Her more somber work expertly uses minor chords and unusual timing to establish an atmosphere, while lighter, more upbeat tunes could almost qualify as dancing songs, as Samantha has an infectious natural rhythm. Her piano work, however, is only a precursor to what, in my opinion, is her greatest musical ability, her voice. Powerful and soulful, Sam’s voice recalls the great female Jazz and Blues vocalists, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington. Whether singing about an old boyfriend or the uncertainties of life in general, she has the power to make you laugh or make you cry just through sheer tone and intensity. Her range is also fairly impressive, and will only get better and continue to grow with her recent vocal training. However, a good voice alone is not what allows Samantha to thrive. Vocal talents like hers would be wasted without a song worth singing; this, fortunately, is not a problem with which Sam has to be concerned. A prolific artist, Samantha’s portfolio is filled with at least 20 completed songs and an untold number of song parts, sets of lyrics or a series of chords, which on any given day could become a new work of art. She is not limited to traditional topics of love and passion, although she certainly does write about them. She has narrative songs that follow people she has known or made up as well and songs that deal with the ideas of change and aging (not traditional grounds for a young songwriter). Sam can do this because it is clear from the moment you hear her sing that her music is not simply a hobby, and certainly not just a career, rather it is a part of her and her need for self-expression drives it out of her, much to our benefit. As she learns more about music as well as about life, her work will only improve and expand."

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