T.W. Sample, a native of Memphis, Tennessee, began playing the piano at a late age with the guidance of Ms. Elsa Harris and the Harris House of Gospel in Chicago, Illinois. While balancing athletics and academics, T.W. made time to increase his initial performing experience playing gospel music for the Second Baptist Church of Wheaton, Illinois. After high school, T.W. moved to Wisconsin and played for Holy Cathedral Church of God in Christ, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and subsequently began learning music theory and studying jazz history at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha. At this time, T.W. began to focus on playing gospel music on the Hammond B3 organ and being mesmerized by jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.
After two years at Wisconsin-Waukesha, T.W. transferred to The Ohio State University and met jazz organist and pianist Hank Marr. Hank helped T.W. to understand the literature and vocabulary of jazz. During this time, T.W. also began to be influenced by trumpeter Pharez Whitted’s quintet and pianist Bobby Floyd’s trio performing regularly in Columbus, Ohio. While attending college full time, T.W. continued to gain playing experience at Oakley Full-Gospel Baptist Church and St.Dominic Catholic Church, while balancing weekly performances with his own trio and various other groups in the capitol city of Ohio.
T.W. moved to the east coast to pursue additional musical and educational opportunities by studying with proteges of Phineas Newborn Jr., jazz pianists and Memphis legends James Williams, Mulgrew Miller, and Harold Mabern. Upon arriving to the east coast, T.W. began to gravitate to jazz organ after attending a performance by jazz organist Dr.Lonnie Smith. After witnessing that performance, T.W. formed a jazz organ trio that performed twice a week for almost 2 years at the American Legion in Harlem.
T.W. has a style that spans from Jazz to Gospel, R & B to Hip-Hop, and Classic Rock to Country. His talent allows him to be a proficient pianist, Hammond B3 organist, and keyboardist. T.W. Sample graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and from William Paterson University with a Master of Music in Jazz Performance.
Currently, T.W. is a Doctoral candidate at Five Towns college with a concentration in Jazz Performance and Commercial music. He is also a proud member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, a film music supervisor, an adjunct professor, Assistant Director of Music, a music producer, a New Jersey certified public school teacher with advanced standings, Lawrenceville high school worship accompanist, and he leads his own piano and organ trio’s regularly in the tri-state area.