Sam JC Lee was born in South Korea and grew up as a pastor's kid. After graduating from Hanyang University in South Korea with a B.S. in electronic engineering, he was called to music ministry. In 2004, he moved to Boston to obtain musical training in jazz composition and performance at Berklee, where he studied with John Lockwood, Steve Rochinski, Matt Garrison, Jetro da Silva, and Greg Hopkins, among others. During his studies, he received the Wayne Shorter Award, the Bass Department Achievement Award, and the Berklee Achievement Scholarship for his accomplishments.
Within a few years of his arrival in Boston, Lee became one of the most in-demand bassists in the New England/New York City area because of his musicianship and versatility on various styles of music such as jazz, funk, gospel, R&B, and rock. After graduation, he performed at many notable venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival, and Scullers, with different world-renowned artists such as as Joe Lovano, John Scofield, George Garzone, John Blackwell, and George Russell Jr., among many others. He also appeared on numerous CDs and in film music, TV, and radio, as well as at national Christian conferences. Some of his works were mentioned by major media like JazzTimes, DownBeat Magazine, and the Boston Globe. While continuing to be active in the music scene as a bassist, sound/recording engineer, and composer, Lee has also been part of music ministries for different Christian organizations and serves Citylife Presbyterian Church in Boston as their worship arts director.
- Worked with Quincy Philip, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Sonnet Son (K-pop), Tim Hughes, and many others
- B.M., Berklee College of Music, jazz composition and bass performance
- B.S., Hanyang University, computer/electronic engineering