Sam has taught and played with the best of them -- for 76 years.  Here’s what some of his colleagues and students have said about him:

“As far as I’m concerned, Sam was the spiritual father of magazines like” Modern Drummer. “  There was no community of drummers before Sam:  he put out his own drumming magazines and ran these affairs and it brought everyone in the NYC area together.  Through his publications he would disseminate information that was not otherwise available; now that’s kind of been taken over by these big, new magazines.  But Sam had drum corps people, rock people, jazz people, symphonic people - he brought all kinds of drummers together so they could interact.”


Jimmy Chapin, legendary jazz drummer and educator

"When you're young and might not be the best and consistent

and everything, Sam was always a very encouraging gentleman and always a great joy to play with.  He plays sensationally, but what was equally important is that he had a gracious and giving attitude."

Ed Shaughnessy, world - renowned drummer who played in

Doc Severinsen’s “Tonight Show Orchestra” for 29 years

“Sam’s a guy who played with PIL - Johnny Rotten - all the way

to Buddy Rich.  He’s a gentleman who can play drums with

anyone in the whole world.  And that’s the idea -

playing with other musicians.“ 

Steve Pasotti, drummer and student of Sam’s

“He was always disciplined in what he did and strived to maintain to be at the top of his craft. He was very organized. All those things really drew me into studying with him. The biggest compliments I’ve ever gotten from students or their friends?  ‘He really enjoys your enthusiasm for teaching and the way you try to bring the information out and try to bring the best out in people.’  And that really made me feel good. That’s one of the things I saw in Sam and other teachers of mine and I think that is a precious gift. “                

Marvin “Smitty” Smith, “The Tonight Show Orchestra” drummer

and performer on over 200 jazz albums

“When I was 12 years old my father used to take me to the Metropole Cafe in New York City to watch Gene Krupa every Sunday.  So my father said to Gene, ‘My son wants to take drum lessons.’  And Gene said, ‘Well, I really don’t have the time, but look up this guy, Sam Ulano.‘   We’ve all studied with Sam - he’s Mr. Rhythm.  I personally feel such gratitude towards Sam. There is no one who has done more for drummers all over the world.“ 


Russ Moy,  long-time drummer and teacher

“If the drum is too loud or too heavy or distracting from the ensemble or the soloist, it could destroy the band.  But when Sam is in the band, he uses his rhythmic skills to hold us together, to goose us along, to encourage us. 

“I would rather have a happy band than a great band.

Sam volunteered to play with me, and he's a great drummer -- swings from the ground up, very affable, pleasant personality,

very cooperative.  And from that time on, whenever I'd get a job,

I'd call Sam and know that he'd be there and do the job,

whatever's required."

Bill Spilka, professional trombonist, bassist & jazz historian

“My teacher is Sam Ulano.  He's one of the masters of all time. 

A lot of what I've learned with him has helped me with the odd-time thing, playing rhythms over rhythms, and independence .”

Tony “Thunder” Smith,  world-renowned drummer,

vocalist, producer and Berklee College of Music Professor


“The name Sam Ulano has been floating around the Jazz Drum World for decades.  He was a good friend to Max Roach and Buddy Rich {Max came to perform drum clinics at Sam's studio in the Bronx}.  Sam, aside from being a good drummer, always had the rep' of being the Great Teacher - actually, teaching the trick of reading drum music.  His students included Barry Altschul, Marvin ‘Smitty' Smith, Dion Parsons - and his first student was Art Taylor (back in the ‘40s).”

Rob Crocker, NYC-based music programmer, broadcaster,

DJ on radio station WBGO


Jimmy Chapin




Steve Pasotti

Ed Shaughnessey


Buddy Rich


Rob Crocker

Russ Moy

Bill Spilka


“He knows how to teach, he knows how to talk to people -

he’s not giving a lecture, he’s teaching.  There’s a big difference. 

If you lecture, the person’s going to listen and it’s up to him

whether he pays attention or not.

But to teach is to get that guy working at it.”

Frank Robson, musician/songwriter

“Sam Ulano knows the power of positive music. 

He will play your 100th birthday!” 

Phil Schaap, American jazz DJ, and one of the world’s

leading jazz historians

“I think he's perceived the way he's always been perceived,

which is as a pain in the ass.  Because he'll call anybody out about any small point.  He's a nudge, he's a Jewish mother,

and he's also a mensch.  Sam's all right; you've gotta understand, he's pushing you, he's trying to provoke you into response

because he's trying to get you to think.”

Chip Stern, renowned music journalist

“Sam’s built up a wonderful practice. It’s from mouth- to-mouth and from friends-to-friends and from year-to-year.  He’s legend;

Sam is a legend.“

Charles Colin, music publisher

“A legend in that secretive world where the fine points of flamlets

and choke cymbal technique are discussed, it is safe to say that Sam Ulano has impacted more drummers than any man alive. 

The author of 1000s of books on every conceivable aspect of drumming, the early editions of which bring collectible prices,

Ulano is also an NYC treasure who has been in the business forever.”

Elliott Simon, writer for All About

Sam with his band at the Red Blazer, a popular NYC jazz nightclub


Frank Robson

Phil Schaap

Chip Stern



Elliott Simon


Tony “Thunder” Smith