Former Student Performs with Legendary Buddy Guy
Former Moraine Valley student Marty Sammon has performed with some of the biggest names in the music industry, both on tour and on television—and now will have another dream come true.
“When I was a student at Moraine Valley, I used to hang out in the theater there and dream about playing with my band in that venue,” said Sammon, who will perform Nov. 23 with his band and the legendary Buddy Guy at the college’s Fine and Performing Arts Center.
Sammon, who still lives in the area, has traveled exclusively with Buddy Guy for nearly 10 years as his keyboardist in more than 1,000 shows, and has had the honor of sharing a stage with Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Carlos Santana, Ron Wood, and many others. He’s also performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Late Show with David Letterman, and others. “It was pretty cool to be on those shows, and the best part is when my relatives get to watch. My older aunts and uncles really get a kick out of that,” he said.
Traveling with Buddy Guy has been nothing short of awesome. “The constant learning experience is one of my favorite parts. Buddy never plays the same, so each night is another opportunity to listen and contribute in a different way,” Sammon said.
It seems that a career in music was his destiny. “As a kid I used to sing in my room until my parents went crazy. I think that’s why they went out so much without me.” Sammon says that jokingly, as his father truly was one of his biggest inspirations. “One of my favorite memories is playing piano at home when I was around 14, and my father would sit next to me and request songs. If I didn’t know the song he was asking for, he would play it on his record player and expect me to learn it after one listen. I got to the point where I could,” he said. His passion continued at Marist High School where he was in the band, and at Moraine Valley where he performed in the jazz band and took many music classes.
He recalls his days at Moraine Valley with great affection and says he is very excited about coming back to perform. “I’m planning on taking a long walk around the campus on the day of the show to see what I recognize,” he said. Sammon’s also excited because playing in a venue close to home means more familiar faces in the audience. “When I saw on Buddy’s schedule that we were playing at Moraine, I was thrilled. Then when I got the call to do the opening set with my band, I was even more excited. I’ve got a lot of people from the area coming to see the show, so that makes it even more special to me.”