Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd

Rodger Coleman started piano lessons when he was seven years old. He then studied for eight years with Dr. Allen Brings who is a composer and professor of music at Queens College of The City University of New York. He studied clarinet and other woodwinds with Gary Sousa, and sang in the school choir. Rodger studied Third Stream music at the New England Conservatory of Music with Hankus Netsky, Ran Blake and Bob Moses. Rodger fell in love with punk music and began to play the guitar. He also took lessons from Mick Goodrick. Later, Rodger formed a punk/jazz group called UYA (a/k/a The Upstanding Young Americans). They became a band when Sam Byrd arrived, and they played late-night shows in Boston nightclubs. Sam Byrd, then a librarian at MIT taught himself drums in 1969. He was a member several ensembles in Richmond, Virginia, including the mutable collective Tad Thaddock, and the short-lived Office Ladies. They made an album for New Alliance’s Brains in Bed Brains No Boots in Bed in 1989. UYA brought Sam aboard to record their self-titled album, which was nominated in the 1991 Boston Music Award. They performed frequently in the Boston area and New York City, including several gigs with the Knitting Factory as well as a shared bill at the Medeski Martin.

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