Skip to main content

Sammy Merendino

Cyndi Lauper

Sammy Merendino is an in-demand session drummer/programmer in NYC. He has recorded and/or performed with many of the worlds top artists, including Cameo, Michael Jackson, Billy Joel, Cyndi Lauper, Foreigner, and many others.

Born in Akron Ohio, Sammy started playing drums at 12 years old, studying with the area's finest teachers. He quickly progressed and played in various bands, drum & bugle corps, and college orchestras. He was a member of Easy Street, one of Cleveland's top Bands. Even with this success he grew restless and wanted to expand.

In 1980, a call from a friend inviting him to audition with Chubby Checker led him to New York City. He landed the gig and toured with the band for 18 months. After leaving in the summer of '82, Sammy focused on the NYC scene, becoming a fixture on Bleeker Street. A chance meeting with some musicians led to a recording session at Park South Studios, which led to an album with the Weather Girls. While in the studio, Larry Blackmon (of Cameo) heard Sammy's drum sound and invited him to play on their current album (Single Life). A European tour followed, then into the studio to record Word Up. The success of that album led to a short stint with Hall & Oates, then back into the session world, including albums with Pat Metheny, Ziggy Marley, Sophie B. Hawkins, Anita Baker, Joan Osborne, and others.

Sammy is also part of Cyndi Lauper's recording and touring band. Recent gigs have included Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Girls with Guitars (Lifetime Network), and 4th of July with the Boston Pops. Most of 2002 was spent on the road as opening act for the Cher Farewell Tour. Summer of 2003 was with Cyndi on a double bill with Meatloaf, followed by the recording of Cyndi's new album At Last. Late fall included a tour through Europe and the U.S. in support of the album, as well as numerous television appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, GMA, The Ellen Degeneres Show, Last Call with Carson Daly, and others.

2004 includes a new live DVD shot in NYC, as well as tours in the U.S., Europe, Australia and Japan. Sammy has also played on over 1000 commercials and television themes including Monday Night Football with Hank Williams Jr., Nightline, World News Tonight, and ABC Golf.