Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Samuel graduated in Music Composition from Universidad Javeriana. He started playing at age twelve and recalls learning a great deal from in-home jam sessions with friends of his musically inclined grand parents and relatives and began playing around with different bands in his hometown.
Although a classically trained percussionist, Samuel was drawn by the sound and rhythms of different styles, especially Latinamerican and jazz. In 1998 he traveled to the United States, where he was contracted with Grammy Award Winner Arturo Sandoval with whom he toured throughout the world for four years.
Upon his arrival to the US Samuel has played with renowned jazz artists such as the late Tito Puente, Chick Corea, Poncho Sanchez, Pete Escovedo, Dave Valentin, Michael Brecker, Don Byron and Claudio Roditi amongst other.
He has also performed as a guest of the Florida International University’s big band, the 4th of July Esplanade 2000 with the Boston Pops, 2000, Singapore Arts Festival, the “5 de Mayo” Celebration 2001 with the Nashville Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Latin Festival 2001 with the L.A. Philharmonic, 2001 Newport Jazz Festival in Madarao, Japan and many more.
Samuel’s stellar playing landed him the Second Place at the 2000 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition for Hand Percussion.
He creates beautiful, yet challenging music designed to appeal to the discriminating listener. With artfully, dynamic and relaxed chops that match speed with precision, the Boston Globe describes his playing: “a ferocious conga solo by Samuel Torres that seemed not humanly possible”.
Samuel moved to New York in late 2002, where he is gaining recognition and respect in the most competitive musical settings while continues performing in leading venues and festivals throughout the world.
Latin Percussion, Inc., the renowned percussion builder appointed him as the leader, composer, producer, of “Drum Solos Revisited” a DVD targeted to those interested in learning and/or improving their technique and soloist/ improvisational skills. Founder of LP, Martin Cohen claims that “he had not met an arranger/producer so talented in over 25 years”.
In 2004 Samuel Torres began working with the exceptionally gifted bassist, Richard Bona, again demonstrating his commitment to taking his talent to all areas of music.