Sam Towse in YoungArts

Sam Towse of New York, New York from Manhattan School of Music, has been named a 2017 National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) Honorable Mention Winner in Jazz Piano. Selected from the largest pool of applicants to date, Towse has been recognized for his outstanding artistic achievements and joins 691 of the nation’s most promising young artists from 40 states across the literary, visual, design and performing arts. Winners receive awards, including cash prizes of up to $10,000, opportunities to participate in YoungArts programs nationwide and engage with renowned mentors, and guidance in taking important steps toward achieving their artistic goals.

Towse will become part of the organization’s expansive alumni network of leading professionals, including visual artists Doug Aitken (1986 Winner in Visual Arts) and Daniel Arsham (1999 Winner in Visual Arts); musicians Conrad Tao (2011 Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and Jennifer Koh (1994 Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); filmmaker Doug Blush (1984 Winner in Cinematic Arts); recording artists Josh Groban (1999 Winner in Theater) and Chris Young (2003 Winner in Voice and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); writerSam Lipsyte (1986 Winner in Writing and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); actors Viola Davis (1983 Winner in Theater), Andrew Rannells (1997 Winner in Theater) and Kerry Washington (1994 Winner in Theater); renowned choreographer Desmond Richardson (1986 Winner in Modern Dance and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts); and 2015 So You Think You Can Dance winner Gaby Diaz (2014 Winner in Dance). 

Sam Towse in Newsday

Sam Towse had to stop his car when he heard the news. The 17-year-old was driving home from high school when he answered his hands-free phone and his mom told him he’d be flying to Los Angeles to see the 58th annual Grammy Awards and play piano in the 2016 Grammy Camp — Jazz Session.


“I had to pull over for a second to breathe and calm myself a little bit,” Towse says. “It was a rather exhilarating experience.”


Towse, a Huntington resident who is a senior at the private Friends Academy in Locust Valley and a pre-college jazz piano student at the Manhattan School of Music, was chosen as one of 32 high school students nationwide to participate in the Grammy Camp program.