Self-taught musician and composer Sami Jano, a first-generation Arab-American was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. His first foray into music was playing trombone in his elementary school band, but soon found his real love was drums. He saved up enough loose change for a pair of drumsticks and a used tape cassette, of ACDC’s Back in Black. He spent three years playing drums on his knees and various bedroom objects to his favorite rock albums, his parents’ Arabic music, and the “oldies” which was incessantly playing in his dad’s car. By the time Sami got to high school, he had saved up enough for a real drum set, and started an “experimental-hardcore” band with his friends, which went nowhere surprisingly.

He attended Michigan State University, majored in advertising and fine arts, and started teaching himself piano and composition. He had knack for writing diverse instrumental expressive pieces that often flow and change throughout their duration. That style lent itself naturally to film, visual arts, and moving pictures in general.

Currently, Sami resides in New York City, where he works as composer, and plays keys for instrumental band Adam’s Castle. He has written for HBO, Grey Goose, Kohl’s, Skype, Pixar co-op, Mercedes, XBOX,, DPTV/PBS, Craig Cutler (visual artist), Ford, Yoxi and many others.  For more information about Sami Jano, please visit


The following musicians created music for Arab American Stories:

Donia Jarrar

Victor Ghannam

Mike Khoury



The following artists were featured in Arab American Stories:

Robby Ameen

Rahim Alhaj

Malika Zarra

Omar Offendum

Major Funding for Arab American Stories: A National Discussion and Outreach provided by

Special Thanks to:

Betty H. Sams

Detroit Public TVAANM