RIP Sam Burtis

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ngrinder
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RIP Sam Burtis

Post by ngrinder »

I regret to inform that Sam Burtis (or Sabutin, on the old forum) has passed away.

Many of us remember Sam’s posts - he was always so generous to share information, and had a truly unique and personal take on all things trombone and music. He was truly one of a kind, and an absolute servant to the music and soul.

I knew Sam well - I first took a lesson with him when I was in college, and he got me my very first gig in NYC. I loved sitting in a section with him, and the car rides home, which he always insisted on. When I’d ask to be let out a few blocks from my place, he’d always take me all the way. He said he never did half favors. He was a wonderful friend, mentor, and person.
GabrielRice
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by GabrielRice »

So sad.

I got to know Sam online, and then he gave me one lesson while passing through Boston that was absolutely pivotal for me. Then I got to know him better through the Shires company, when he would come by for instrument tweaks, hang out at trombone events, etc.

What a generous soul.
Bach5G
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Bach5G »

Oh my.

I had my differences with Sam on the OTJ but took a lesson from him and once drove him to the airport. Bought his book.

A man of principle and strong convictions.

Very sad day.
AndrewMeronek
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by AndrewMeronek »

Sad news. Sam had a way with online rhetoric that was all his own, and invaluable.

From everything I gathered, he was also one hell of a great trombonist.
“All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians.”

- Thelonious Monk
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baBposaune
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by baBposaune »

This is a bit freaky but I was just thinking of Sam this morning before the news was posted here. Another stellar musician gone now. Yeah, I didn't always agree with Sam on the old forum but I did learn a few things from him. Some of his book recommendations were a bit "out there" but I still bought them and read them just to know why he thought they were important. Another thing about Sam Burtis is that he never stopped learning or trying new things even though he was a phenomenal player, and would then share the information with the world. He will be missed.
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ithinknot
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by ithinknot »

Very sorry to hear this - always enjoyed his contributions.
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DougHulme
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by DougHulme »

Thats a shame, he was a real character. He always treated me as a long lost friend whenever I met him even though I am quite sure he didnt really remember me (nor was there any reason he should!) but he also always treated me with great respect and would ask my opinion on matters - he really didnt need to do that but it always made you walk a little bit taller. The thing I also remember about him was the number of gigs he would take in New York, where the fee would have hardly covered the cost of getting there - he just did it because he loved playing the trombone! I also think I'm right (but correct me Gabe if i'm wrong) that he was a tremendous advocate of Steve Shires horns and had a whole stable of them but he was never a Shires artist and he bought all his horns with his own money - again he just loved the trombone... Sad day RIP Sam... Doug
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Mr412
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Mr412 »

I always thought Sam was way under-appreciated on the old forum. He was unique and living proof that there was more than one way to learn how to play at an exceedingly high level.

His way of expressing himself and his concepts were second to none.

RIP Sam!
Jimkinkella
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Jimkinkella »

Well, damn.

Definitely a character, but super nice to me and would throw out some true gems of wisdom.
He's the reason that I started seriously looking into TIS horns and appreciating the NYC salsa scene...

YMMV
OneTon
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by OneTon »

I bought his book and one of his cast off horns. I will miss him.
Richard Smith
Wichita, Kansas
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Burgerbob
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Burgerbob »

His point about always having a fundamentals routine and warmup has always stuck with me (something about great players showing up to town, not warming up, and burning out in a matter of a couple years).
Aidan Ritchie, LA area player and teacher
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harrisonreed
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by harrisonreed »

He was an amazing player and his ideas were really great. A huge loss.
Posaunus
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Posaunus »

I've missed Sam's posts the past few years - his comments were always interesting and informative, based on his own extensive experience, and full of personality.
Very sad to know that we'll never hear from him again.
Rest in peace.
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DaveAshley
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by DaveAshley »

We’ll miss his knowledge and expertise.

Bet on it.
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Doug Elliott
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Doug Elliott »

I had heard he was sick but I didn't expect this.
Very sad day in trombone world.
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BGuttman
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by BGuttman »

I am truly sorry to hear of this.

Sam and I shared a teacher even though I never met him when we were students.

I did meet him once. Nice guy.

He was an inspiration to many on the old Trombone Forum and for a while here.

RIP, Sam.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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Mamaposaune
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Mamaposaune »

Sad to hear this about Sam. I always enjoyed reading his posts as Sabutin on the old forum, words of wisdom expressed in a uniquely colorful way. He was clearly passionate about all things trombone related.
I never got to hear him play, but did meet him once when I stopped at his table (NY Brass Conference for Scholarships, I think) to buy his book. Reminder to self - re-read it.
"Bet on it."
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JohnL
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by JohnL »

Mamaposaune wrote: Fri Dec 29, 2023 4:58 pm"Bet on it."
Along with:
Try everything. Use what works.
and Mister Natch, of course:
images.jpeg
I met Sam once; years ago at The NAMM Show (IIRC, he was playing with the LP Latin All-Stars big band). He (and Lewis Kahn) took a few minutes to talk trombone with some random guy in a Bones West shirt.
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aasavickas
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by aasavickas »

Sam was the best his old forum was great. Got a lesson with him once. Good guy. Good Player. Good writer.
ThomasMatta
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by ThomasMatta »

Sad day.

Had Sam and Dave Taylor out to DePaul several years ago - “Sam & Dave” they referred to themselves! They were in Chicago with the Mingus Epitaph, conducted by Gunther Schuller. Terrific concert, even better masterclass!!

I really enjoyed him on the old forum, and he was a treat to see in action, if only for a weekend.

A sweetheart behind a very direct and (sometimes) gruff exterior. He will be missed.

Remember: “Try everything, then stick with what works for you!”
CalgaryTbone
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by CalgaryTbone »

Sad news - so sorry to hear this. I've missed his posts over the last few years - always something thought provoking in whatever online posts he made to the OTJ or Trombone Forum. A real personality too with a unique way of expressing himself, and strong opinions. He will be missed.

Jim Scott
Kbiggs
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Kbiggs »

This is sad. I miss his writing from the old Forum. A loss for the music and trombone world.
Kenneth Biggs
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
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Fidbone
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Fidbone »

RIP Sabutin :frown:
Always enjoyed the banter with him on the old forum.
Very opinionated but knew his stuff.
Put a lot of pretenders in their place.
He will be missed.
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jacobgarchik
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by jacobgarchik »

Had some great discussions with him back on his forum, openhorn.com, maybe around 2004. Wow that was long ago. One thing I miss is that it the discussion could be much more music oriented than gear oriented compared to this forum...I will treasure that. He was often bemoaning the state of modern jazz trombone as I was defending it, but telling him he was listening to the wrong people. :) those were the days! Great guy.
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Finetales
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Finetales »

I think about and parrot his "right tool for the job" posts quite often. While his insights were sometimes controversial, his posts were cornerstones of the old forum and he freely distributed a lot of wisdom.

Big loss.
tomato
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by tomato »

Sam not only was a great player but also a great teacher i was so prevelech to know him personal also as studen back 1974 .he and i talk so much about music and personal stuff the today and better person .thank you sam i will miss you in my life in to we meet again .very sad day for me and my family love all way GR
Olofson
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Olofson »

Sad news. I did met him in Finland years ago, we had several discousions on the Trombone forum. I learned a lot from him, one thing he, changed my opinion of buzzing. "Never miss a change to keep your mouth chut". God advice for me.
Bach5G
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Bach5G »

Olofson wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2023 10:39 am Sad news. I did met him in Finland years ago, we had several discousions on the Trombone forum. I learned a lot from him, one thing he, changed my opinion of buzzing. "Never miss a change to keep your mouth chut". God advice for me.
Some of Sam’s best advice right there.
blast
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by blast »

When I first joined the old forum, he slapped me down a good few times. It was about sloppy writing and sometimes sloppy thought. He was, of course, right. I learned a lot from that and even more from his posts on the forum. Many PMs between us followed and I greatly admired his wisdom. We never met and that was my fault, as I have visited NY many times in the last decade. I've lost my chance. The trombone community has lost a legend. RIP Sam.
imsevimse
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by imsevimse »

Olofson wrote: Sat Dec 30, 2023 10:39 am Sad news. I did met him in Finland years ago, we had several discousions on the Trombone forum. I learned a lot from him, one thing he, changed my opinion of buzzing. "Never miss a change to keep your mouth chut". God advice for me.
"Never miss a change to keep your mouth shut"

Yes, that reached me too, since YOU spread those wise words to me.

He demanded that you know what you were talking about. He saw if you babbled and sometimes corrected you mercilessly. He raised the level of discussions with his experience and argued logically like the professional musician he was. You seem to be a "busy bee" he wrote to me once in a comment, I thought it was a funny expression that I think of sometimes when his name comes up. I agreed with him on most of what he wrote and missed his comments after moving to this forum.

/Tom
Trombo
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Trombo »

A great trombone player and an outstanding personality.
I always enjoyed reading his posts on the old forum
R.I.P.
Bard
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Bard »

When I picked up trombone again in 2003 and found TromboneForum, Sam (Sabutin) was clearly a voice that stood out, both in knowledge and in his engagement and enthusiasm. From TromboneForum to groups on FB I have always followed and enjoyed his comments, insights and philosophies, not only on trombonetechnique and music, but also on other topics.

I never got to meet him or take lessons with him or even talk with him but I still feel I knew him and I am very sorry now that he is gone. He will be missed.
baileyman
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by baileyman »

2bobone
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by 2bobone »

I never met Sam --- or Sabutin --- but anyone that had such passion for our beloved instrument and could gather such a bouquet of compliments from those who knew him must have been somebody special. I wish I had known him.
RIP
Cmillar
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Cmillar »

Shoot. What a nice guy to talk to...about anything. Was lucky to get to hear him play up close in NYC and his past Forum was a great place to hang out and read as well.
The world will miss him.
norbie2018
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by norbie2018 »

I always enjoyed his word on the old trombone forum and visited his website's forum as well. Always was open to sharing his wisdom and I learned alot from him. Wish I met him. R.I.P.

aasavickas
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by aasavickas »



He was a great player and great teacher. The link below has his a quick video on his overtone singing stuff. It really helped my playing and I have never heard anyone else describe it so simply or so clearly.

baileyman
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by baileyman »

At my house:
sam Brass Players Clinic.pdf
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trombonedemon
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by trombonedemon »

Dang😔😑🥺💙
Conn 112 H w/bored out rotors w/heavyweight caps, Sterling Silver Edward's B3 and Shires B3 leadpipe w/62H slide. Long Island Brass Comp Dimensions 29.5 inner rim .323 backbore solid silver lefreque
JeffBone44
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by JeffBone44 »

I definitely remember Sam from the old forum and how much he advocated for Shires horns. He always said that lightweight bells and heavier slides are the way to go. My horns are built differently, but that's okay! RIP Sabutin
Mingmonk
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Mingmonk »

Sabutin, Erling Kroner, the old TTF, tempus fugit, but I don't forget how this has been part of my life. Respect
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bassclef
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by bassclef »

norbie2018 wrote: Sun Dec 31, 2023 9:01 am I always enjoyed his word on the old trombone forum and visited his website's forum as well. Always was open to sharing his wisdom and I learned alot from him. Wish I met him. R.I.P.

I've had this video saved in one of my lists on YouTube for a long time. It contains not only a lot of great sounds but also an outstanding free lesson from Sam on slide technique.
Olofson
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Olofson »

He would absolutely enjoy the thread abot false tones, he wrote and talked about them pretty much.
legendary27
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by legendary27 »

Very sad to hear this. I used to frequent his site after reading his posts on the old forum. He could be abrasive at times, but I always found his contributions thought provoking. Anything that makes you think more about your playing is good, and Sam's posts always did that.

RIP Sam.
ddsbstrb
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by ddsbstrb »

Wow, I haven't been over here for a while and was shocked to read about Sam. Sam was making a trip from NYC to Indy for a concert he was playing over there. He asked about hotels close to I-70, and since Springfield OH is right on I-70 I suggested one. He also wanted to meet me for supper, and there was also a Cracker Barrel right across the street. That was my first time to actually meet him, after many years on the old forum of knowing Sam.

He was just super gracious, and wanted me to bring a set of By-Laws from the Dayton Jazz Orchestra. I guess he was interested in getting some type of large ensemble set up. We had a great talk during our evening meal, and Sam wouldn't let me pick up the tab.

I went to the Eastern Trombone Workshop back in the 2000's and would usually run into Sam. I really dug Sam's car, since I have always been a Ford-guy. He had, at that time, around 1994 or 1995 Ford Taurus SHO. Those were pretty fast cars, in their day. At one of the ETW's I enquired about it. Somebody ran into him and totalled it.

RIP, Sam!
Denny Seifried
Adjunct Trombone Instructor
Wittenberg Univ. Dept. of Music
Fairweather
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Re: RIP Sam Burtis

Post by Fairweather »

Ah, I am sorry to hear this.

First met Sam running around NYC in 70s, then enjoyed and profited from his brilliant commentary about all things trombone on these pages. R.I.P. Sam keep swinging with the angels.

Someone should collect and categorize his internet postings over the years as a doctoral project that would benefit the worldwide trombone community.
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