Sam Lipman

V&B: Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn and The Art of Invisibility

Billy Strayhorn, a long time muse and collaborator for the great bandleader Duke Ellington, brought depth and a languid power to the already sophisticated sound of Ellington’s orchestra.  Aching for love and significance, Strayhorn was openly gay in a time of repression and bias, composing ballads filled with longing and disarming vulnerability, which demanded the full attention of both the listener and the performer.

How do we strive when circumstances are stacked against us?  How do we make the best of our situation as we continue to dream?  How do we continue to hold out hope for consequential love, as we smolder?  Sometimes what we need most, is hidden, right in front of us, in plain sight.

During this evening, we engaged in both a spirited discussion about Strayhorn and his relationships to Ellington — discussing his music, and his legacy — and we enjoyed superlative live music with Ephraim Owens (trumpet), Brannen Temple (drums), Red Young (piano), Chris Maresh (bass), Andre Hayward (trombone) and Sam Lipman (Saxaphone).

V&B: Thelonious Monk and The Art of Hesitation

Thelonious Monk is an original and unique voice in the shaping and the sound of American music. Both his compositions and his inimitable piano playing continue to confound and resound decades after their inception, bringing us to ask questions — how far can one go when listening to your own muse? Does the artist have a responsibility to instruct while creating? Can art just be enjoyed or does it have to vex to be effective? When looking to swing, how important is rhythm? What is said in the silences? These are the questions we set out to explore during what proved to be an inspirational night of ideas and music at the Cactus Cafe.

Listen to some of the highlights from the event with KUT’s Views and Brews Remix featuring Rabbi Neil Blumofe in discussion with KUT’s Rebecca McInroy along with musicians Rich Harney (piano) Roscoe Beck (bass) Brannen Temple (drums) and Sam Lipman (Saxophone) and special guest Ephraim Owens (trumpet).

V&B: Charles Mingus and The Art of Enigma

Charles Mingus is considered one of the most creative and original voices in American jazz. Uniquely sensitive to the plight of the dispossessed, he challenged his musical ensembles to be improvisatory acts of collective inspiration — responding to the matters of the moment.

The music that Mingus wrote was rooted in standard musical forms and grounded in the blues. At KUT’s Views and Brews Rabbi Neil Blumofe and KUT’s Rebecca McInroy looked at how interpretation of these forms in performance might bring about the transformation of a musician, a listener, and potentially, the world.

The Cactus was packed (standing room only) and the music performed by our all-star quintet was hot! We discussed Mingus, his music, his relationships with his musicians and audience, as well as the agony and the ecstasy he expended in communicating his vision.

Musical Guests
Roscoe Beck , bass
Brannen Temple, drums
Sam Lipman, saxophone
Freddie Mendoza, trombone
Rich Harney, piano

V&B: Art Blakey and The Art of Revolution

What is in a sound? What qualities are necessary to lead a band for many decades? What passions helped to make Blakey’s music distinctive and propel it forward, representing a particular activism and identity? Listen back to our discussion about Blakey, his music, and his legacy and enjoy the superlative performances from some incredible musicians.


Rabbi Neil Blumofe in discussion with KUT’s Rebecca McInroy along with musicians Brannen Temple, drums; Ephraim Owens, trumpet; Sam Lipman, saxophone; Freddie Mendoza, Trombone; Dr. James Polk, Piano; Roscoe Beck, Bass.

V&B: Billie Holiday and The Art of Persona

Billie Holiday once said, “No two people on earth are alike, and it’s got to be that way in music or it isn’t music.” In a recent Views and Brews from KUT radio recorded live at the Cactus Cafe in Austin, Texas we explored just that with Billie Holiday and the Art of Persona.

Listen in as KUT’s Rebecca McInroy hosts Rabbi Neil Blumofe along with a live band including, Brannen Temple on drums, Sam Lipman with Saxophone, Daniel Durham on bass, Ephraim Owens on trumpet, Wiliam Menefield on piano and the vocal talents of Austin’s own Pamela Hart, for an hour of conversation, exploration and great music!