Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes is a composer/pianist/vocalist known for large multidisciplinary projects and for his use of music to examine sociopolitical issues. Samora has performed in venues including Carnegie Hall, MoMA, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Kennedy Center, and toured internationally with artists including Branford Marsalis, Christian Scott, Common, and Emily King.
Samora is the first-ever Art for Justice + Soros Justice Fellow, given to him in support of his upcoming project “The Healing Project”. He just received Chamber Music America‘s 2020 Visionary Award, and is a 2019 Creative Capital grantee.
Samora was raised in the Bay Area and moved to New York to study jazz at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Kenny Barron and Kendall Briggs. It was in NYC that he met his artistic mentor, acclaimed playwright Anna Deavere Smith. Samora is director/creator of The Transformations Suite, an acclaimed project combining music, theatre, and poetry to examine the radical history of resistance within the communities of the African Diaspora.
Samora’s other projects include: The James Baldwin Essays: Examining the American Dream Narrative, commissioned by Harlem Stage; The Migration of Protest: Meditations on Jacob Lawrence, for the Museum of Modern Art; and Billy Strayhorn: the Sutherland Period, for Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art. He was a 2018 artist-in-residence at Joe’s Pub/The Public Theater.
Samora collaborates with artists including Herbie Hancock, Glenn Ligon, Sara Bareilles, Daveed Diggs, and Lalah Hathaway. He works frequently with Common on compositions for music & film, and is a featured member of August Greene with Common, Robert Glasper, and Karriem Riggins.
Samora is a member of Blackout for Human Rights, the arts & social justice collective founded by Ryan Coogler and Ava DuVernay, and was musical director for their #MLKNow and #JusticeForFlint events.
A Sundance Composers Lab fellow, Samora recently scored the award-winning documentary “Whose Streets?”, and wrote songs for the HBO film The Tale, the Netflix film Burning Sands and the PBS film The Talk.