“Sammy Ray” Kestenbaum was born in Westchester County New York. Sammy is the oldest of three and has two younger sisters, one whom is a private chef in Manhattan, the other is in the fashion design program at Cornell University. Kestenbaum got his start in music as a young kid by listening to all the music his parents played in the car and at home. His love for the beetles pushed him to learn how to navigate and figure out chords on his grandparents grand piano at the age of six.
Later on in school, Sammy took classical piano lessons for a bunch of years. Eventually, he got bored with the training of classical music and wanted to learn the popular songs that he was hearing. Sammy quit piano until high school, where he played a little, and then college, where he started a pick-up band with a few roommates, buying his first keyboard and setting up a small jam studio in his college house’s basement.
"After enlisting the help of a few fraternity brothers, they formed a full 6 piece rock band, “Phase Two”. Their group started to take off playing shows at local campus bars. Their sets consisted of covers and some originals that Sammy and a few others in the band had started writing."
By his senior year, Sammy had written a bunch of songs, relying heavily his major influences mainly Beatles and Billy Joel. He knew he was onto something when his peers from his business school classes started coming up to him and commented on the songs, remembering them from the shows the weekend before.
Following graduating from Lehigh, Sammy spent a bunch of years writing a collection of cross-genre rock songs. In 2012 Kestenbaum found a local studio in Manhattan to help produce his first album. After nearly two years of writing, recording, and editing, his debut album “Remember Me” was completed and released in September 2014, where he will be leveraging that album to display his songwriting and artistry.