“Lupowitz is one of the real craftsmen of melody and words in the region, writing ear worms with thoughtful and thought-provoking lyrics that are fun to dance to or just hang out and listen.”
–Jonathan Hochberg, Finger Lakes Music Press
“This record from Samuel B. Lupowitz and the Ego Band is perhaps the most appropriate use of the “Ithaca” tag yet … unique, epic and yet still highly relatable even if you didn’t grow up in Ithaca. … Sonically, Ten Square Miles is a breath of fresh air.”
—Ithaca Record Freak
“I hope to make music that people recognize for its process as well as its product,” says Samuel B. Lupowitz. “It’s easy in these technological times to think of music as something where you can press some buttons and it just happens to you. I want the humanity to be ever-present. I want people to see the sweat.”
Bouncing around his many musical endeavors from a home base in Ithaca, New York, Lupowitz makes that humanity palpable. Rarely content wearing only one hat, the composer, lyricist, arranger, bassist, singer, and keyboard player has utilized his diverse skill set to make his mark on the constantly shifting independent music scene. Whether he’s playing his own music or working as a sideman, performing rock songs in a club or leading the orchestra for a musical, laying down tracks in the studio or churning out horn charts and vocal arrangements for a concert, SBL does it all with boundless energy and a healthy sense of humor.
Currently, Sam plays various keyboard instruments, sings, and composes original songs in Noon Fifteen, a progressive soul combo featuring his partner in life and music, powerhouse vocalist Mandy Goldman. Rounded out by bassist/singer/songwriter Harry Nichols, guitarist Joe Massa, and drummer/vocalist Chris Armitage, the Noon Fifteen collaborates on catchy, danceable songs that are full of lyrical and musical surprises. They plan to release new music in various audio and visual formats throughout 2017.
Sam also chips in backing vocals and songwriting as the keyboard player for the funk ensemble Thru Spectrums and as bassist for soul-rock band Julia Felice and the Whiskey Crisis. Both groups are set to release full-length albums in the coming year.
As a bandleader, Sam fronted Samuel B. Lupowitz & The Ego Band, a piano-driven rock ‘n’ soul orchestra modeled after Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Their 2012 debut album, Songs to Make You Wealthier and More Attractive, bore the influence of Elton John, Ben Folds, The Beatles, The Band, and the Motown songbook. 2015’s Ithaca-themed concept record, Ten Square Miles, was named one of the top local music releases of the year by the Ithaca Journal. Sam continues to perform his songs as a solo artist and with various lineups of the Ego Band.
In addition, Sam has performed and recorded in and out of Ithaca with The Blind Spots, the Jeff Love Band, Kitestring, Alan Rose and the Restless Elements, Harry Nichols Band, The Wizbangs, the Benjamin Vo Blues Band, and many others. Thanks to constant gigging with anyone and everyone, Jim Catalano of the Ithaca Journal named Sam the Ithaca music scene’s “Most Valuable Player” for 2015.
With independent rock band The Flying Pigs, SBL co-produced two albums of original material, 2010′s Four Years, Five States, and 2011′s Same Place Next Year (which featured the Lupowitz-penned crowd favorite, “Lensful of Molly,” a song about news anchor lust). Their annual holiday concert, Christmachannukkalypse, regularly raised several hundred dollars for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Several of the former members continue to collaborate in the post-geographic art-rock trio Luminous Beings.
Sam’s rock opera about the Lincoln assassination, The Handsomest Man in America, made its debut at a sold-out four-show engagement at Reading, PA’s Genesius Theatre in 2009. Lupowitz wrote music, lyrics, and book, as well as the orchestrations for the production’s six-piece band. Noted Lincoln scholar and author Michael Kauffman said the event “absolutely blew me away . . . an experience I will never forget.” Following a subsequent production in 2010, the piece is currently undergoing revisions for future regional and festival productions and a new concept recording.
As a freelance composer/arranger, Samuel B. Lupowitz has contributed vocal and instrumental works to the Ithaca College Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Standing Room Only Performing Arts Company, and a bevy of independent short films and audio recording projects. He is currently writing the orchestrations for a children’s musical, April and the Seven Sisters of the Rainbow, arranging the piano/vocal music for educational dual-language immersion program Maracas. He continues to accept commissions from various educational and professional musical and theatrical groups.
Though some could wonder how he keeps up, Lupowitz sees the diversity of his musical commitments as an asset. “Being involved in a wealth of styles and projects allows me to be a part of a larger community, which makes the whole more satisfying,” he says. “Besides, getting friends together to make music is what I’ve always enjoyed the most. What could be better?”