"A powerful yet gentle voice, deep and rich with memory."
Gwen Sampé is a singer, composer, arranger, teacher, choir director, and workshop facilitator with a background as rich and diverse as her talents.
Gwen received a BA in political philosophy from the University of Houston before receiving a scholarship in 1989 from the Arts Council of Great Britain to attend Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.
After receiving her AGSM from Guildhall, Gwen directed and composed the music for Turnings, a theater piece based on Wole Soyinka's book of poems, A Shuttle in the Crypt. In 1990 she took the role of God in Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde, the first woman to play the part.
In 1994 she joined Ariya, England's first black opera company, and played the part of Spirit in Henry Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas. She continued to concentrate on her main musical interest, jazz, performing in clubs and festivals in England, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, and Germany.
During this period she also contributed to community music projects in Ireland and England with the celebrated community musician Phil Mullen, working with the disabled, people with learning disabilities, the elderly, young children, teenagers-at-risk, prisoners, late learners, and amateur singers.
She had the honor and pleasure to work with the British Council's Pan-Centre for Intercultural Arts and taught in their program for three years. While in the UK Gwen also taught voice at the City Literary Institute in London and community workshop skills at Goldsmith's College, the University of London, and at the University of Limerick, Ireland.
Gwen studied dance with Yolande Burke and William Louther in London throughout the 1990s, and with Elsa Wolliaston in Paris. In 1999 she starred in and wrote music for the short film My Wife, and produced her first album, Water Gazing, in 2002.
A native of Houston, Texas, Gwen Sampé now resides in Provence and Paris where she teaches and performs regularly.