Future Folk Musik is an ongoing series of videos featuring original compositions by accordionist/pianist/songwriter Sam Reider in collaboration with other young bluegrass, jazz, and acoustic musicians living in NYC. Volume One presents five original compositions inspired by bluegrass, gypsy jazz, and folk music from around the world, and features Alex Hargreaves on violin, Jacob Joliff on Mandolin, Grant Gordy on guitar, Roy Williams on guitar, and Dave Speranza on bass. Audio by Matt McCorkle. Video by Mike Robinson. 

A jazz pianist by training, Sam fell in love with American folk music when he was at Columbia University in New York City. Inspired by the crossover work of jazz artists Charlie Haden and Bill Frisell, he began to experiment with ways of interpreting traditional American music on the piano. But it wasn’t until he picked up the old accordion in his parent’s basement that he realized he needed to delve much deeper to find his voice.

Sam spent the next seven years studying bluegrass, old-time, cajun, zydeco, and gospel music, transcribing fiddle reels and mandolin parts, and trying to figure out how the accordion could play a role in the traditional string band. In the process, Sam was also drawn to other global folk traditions that have had a direct influence on American music: Caribbean rhythms and Celtic and Eastern European melodies and harmonies. 

In 2015, Sam was introduced to a collective of young bluegrass musicians in Brooklyn, who were similarly interested in exploring new directions in acoustic music. They began playing multiple nights a week around Brooklyn and Manhattan, each member taking turns leading the band. Spurred by all this creative energy, Sam started to write his own original music, drawing on the American and international folk music he had studied over the years. 

The first five Future Folk Musik videos were recorded in September of 2016, and Sam is currently releasing one every two weeks. These videos have been distributed widely across the internet and led to Sam being interviewed by Fretboard Magazine, which wrote: Future Folk Musik is “brimming with energy and great playing. Best of all, Reider’s accordion fits in seamlessly with the strings: It doesn’t sound cheesy, nor does it sound like Django / musette throwback… it just sounds fresh and original.”

The sound of Future Folk Musik has been compared to the Punch Brothers, David Grisman, and Andrew Bird—an irresistible mixture of bluegrass, gypsy jazz, and mysterious sounds from around the world. In live shows, Sam often incorporates piano, synthesizer and vocals into the instrumentation of the band. With catchy tunes, a fiery pulse, and mind-bending improvisation, Sam and his band put on spontaneous live performances that keep audiences on their toes. This is the future of folk music.