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| About Making River Cane Flutes
Sammy Tedder was
born in Tallahassee, Florida in 1950.
At age 11 Sammy began playing the alto
saxophone and by age 15 was playing in his first
Within two years Sammy joined an eight piece soul band
called "The 8 of
Us" and was playing all around the
Southeast at college fraternity parties and dances. Later, as a student
at the Florida State University School of Music, he began working on
the art of improvisation using his background in rhythm and blues,
gospel, jazz and classical music.
Sammy's musical compositions and performances reflect all
| "The Eight of Us"... from the late 1960's
Since the mid '70's Sammy has been working with three
Tallahassee area bands:
These bands have opened concerts for
musical luminaries such as B.B. King,
Herbie Mann, George Benson, Minnie Ripperton, Stanley Turrentine,
Jean-Luc Ponte, Edgar
Winter, Jimmy Buffett, Percy Sledge, Tab Benoit and Leon Russell.
Sammy Tedder has also performed with
pianist/vocalist Velma Frye in
the "Tallahome Compassion" concert hosted by Garrison Keillor of
National Public Radio's "A Praire Home Companion".
Sammy and Pam Laws
During the summer of 1986,
sponsored by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs,
Sammy toured the Soviet Union with jazz vocalist Pam Laws, pianist
Lindsey Sargeant and
trumpet/cornet player Rene Arbogast performing concerts of American
Jazz and Pop to promote perestroika and cultural exchanges between
our two countries.
In late 1994 he met the Country Music Legend,
Tom T. Hall and found himself producing a
demo of Tom T. Hall's latest compositions. Later Mercury Records asked
Mr. Hall to record
and release an album of these songs, Songs from Sopchoppy, and
Sammy was invited to play saxophone on most
of the tracks and make an appearance on TNN's Prime Time Country with
Tom T. Hall to
promote the album. This gave a boost to Mr. Tedder's musical career and
gave him the
impetus to start composing and recording his own music in earnest.
In the mid 1990's Sammy and his wife, Sandy were
spending most of their free time at their cabin in a
remote section of North Florida along the Sopchoppy River--enjoying the
beauty and solitude
of the area. This is when Sammy became intrigued by the unique natural
sounds he heard
there--especially at night.
There were the phenomenal choruses of the many species of
frogs, the katydids that called by the thousands every night during the
months of June and
July, the Chuck-Will's-Widows which visited and called from late March
to mid July, River
Frogs, Bull Frogs, Toads...in all these sounds Sammy began to hear so
patterns and unusual rhythms that he was compelled to record them using
a portable digital
tape recorder. These recordings inspired him to compose music to
sounds of the Summer night and after two years Sammy completed the
album, "A Summer
Nocturne". This project was released nationally in 1997 on his own
In addition to saxophone and keyboards Sammy
plays the flute, the low whistle, the
Native American flute, didgeridoo, and the soprano and tenor recorders.
He makes flutes from local river cane and enjoys building Native
American drums, both of which can be heard on
his album, "The Soul of the Matter".
"The Soul of the Matter"
was released on August 2, 1999 and features 10 original compositions.
This instrumental album blends traditional and contemporary jazz with
Native American, Celtic, Latin and Blues nuances and features Sammy on
the alto, soprano, tenor and bass saxophones. Sammy is joined by Sandy
Tedder on flute and Rene Arbogast on trumpet and flugel horn.
In April of 2003 Sammy released a CD featuring
the environmental sounds of North Florida as a background for his
original instrumental compositions called "From
the Land of Many Rivers". This is a soothing and
mysterious collection of works which includes for its final piece "The Feral
Sax"--a live recording that took place at a remote frog pond on a
moonlit night in March of 1997.
In 2006 Sammy produced a soundtrack CD for the film
documentary Apalachicola River - An
In February 2004 Sammy released the CD, "Living Waters" , the musical sound
track for the PBS Documentary
"Living Waters - Aquatic Preserves of Florida". This documentary
features the photography of artist, Clyde Butcher. It was filmed
and produced by cinematographer, Elam Stoltzfus of Live
Oak Production Group and narrated by Peter Thomas. Using a
background of environmental sounds from all over Florida the "Living
Waters" sound track album incudes light saxophone jazz mixed in with
the haunting melodies of river cane flutes. Sandy Tedder and
Rene' Arbogast also provided their talents on this CD.
In 2008 Sammy produced Ancient Horizons, a soundtrack CD for Clyde
Butcher's America the Beautiful: The
In 2009 Sammy composed and performed the musical soundtrack and
provided the nature sound design for the documentary The Big Cypress Swamp: The Western Everglades. The
documentary was produced by Elam Stoltzfus is hosted by Clyde
Butcher. It is narrated by Peter Thomas. To hear
excerpts from the soundtrack music click here.
In 2014 Sammy released TRANSITIONS.
In 2015 Sammy produced his first full length nature film called LOCAL WATERS - Through the Seasons
which documents the seasonal changes that take place in the North
Florida Wilderness. The soundtrack includes music from Transitions plus
addition unpublished works and the majorty of the footage is from the
Sopchoppy River basin and the nearby coastal habitats.
In 2017 Sammy followed up with the second of his Local Waters series
with LOCAL WATERS - Wild Places again
wild places from the Wacissa River westward to the pitcher plant bogs
of Liberty County with an emphasis on the Sopchoppy River area and
adjacent coastal zones.
In that same year Sammy released an album of instrumental music called
Grooves, Drives and Ballads. This album features guest artists Mike
Andrews on guitar and Rene' Arbogast on trumpet.
In 2018 Sammy played river cane flute on Rita
Coolidge's album Safe in the
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