Anyone who lives in San Francisco knows you can find some of the most talented musicians in the country gracing the subway on any given weekend. Sam Austin is case in point. He brings his horns down to the Civic Center plaza and lifts commuters spirits far and wide. He plays for the love of it and you’ll see him setting up Friday at 5pm and still going strong at 12:30. His only break is to shake the hand of a friend or pause to chat with an inquiring stranger. When the symphony crowd heads into the tunnel to board BART back to the East Bay or the Peninsula, Sam Austin is there with a smile and a jazz tune.
But what makes Sam truly special and brilliant is how he shares his love of instruments with anyone who will listen — like it’s the easiest skill in the world that any fool could master. He gave me a taste of his style one night not so long ago. I was honored to catch a glimpse of the man behind the music.