Cindy Blackman Santana
Cindy Blackman Santana will be helping Keystone Korner Baltimore celebrate the 77th birthday of NEA Jazz Master Todd Barkan!
Cindy Blackman Santana [drums]
Ravi Coltrane [saxophone]
Felix Pastorius [bass]
Marc Cary [keys]
Aurelien Budynek [guitar]
Cindy Blackman Santana is a virtuoso drummer whose artistry spans the realms of jazz and rock. As a bandleader and as a musician, Cindy is a sound innovator with a passion for pushing creative boundaries and exploring movement and change. She is as known for the nuances and colors she brings to her beats and fills as she is for the sheer power of her soulful playing. Some drummers act, some react. Some keep time, others create it. Cindy Blackman Santana is among the few who can, writes Mike Zwerin of the International Herald Tribune.
Cindy has been creating magnificent musical time and space since the beginning of her career as a busking street performer in New York City in the ’80s through the present day, touring the globe and making albums at the top of her gameincluding the critically acclaimed Another Lifetime (2010). In addition to collaborating onstage and in-studio with her own groupalso known as Another Lifetimeshe has toured and recorded with artists including Pharoah Sanders, Cassandra Wilson, Bill Laswell, Joss Stone, Joe Henderson, Buckethead, Don Pullen, Hugh Masakela and Angela Bofill. From 1992 to 2007 and again in 2014 & 2015 she was the drummer in Lenny Kravitz’s band, performing through multiple world tours and hit albums. In 2010, she was part of the all-star line-up performing Bitches Brew, a tribute to Miles Davis’ seminal album staged at the San Francisco Jazz Festival and NYC Winter JazzFest.
I think of playing as controlled freedom, and in jazz, especially, that’s exactly what you have. I love it, says Cindy. You know the forms of the songs, but you have the freedom to stretch over them. You want the music to grow and breathe, and you want to invite creativity from all the musicians. As you’re going along, you can change the color, the feel, the mood in different ways, or go off the chart and open it up to something new. Controlled freedom is an incredible discipline requiring a lot of focus. Improvisation like that is art in its highest form. Her recording career began in the late ’80s, and she has released albums with an acoustic ensemblethe Cindy Blackman Quartetas well as with her electric outfit. One she cites as among her favorites is 2000’s Works On Canvas. I like where the band was at that point, our sound was becoming really cohesive, she says. The review in Jazz Times noted that the album proceeds like an impressionistic suite in which she not only functions as the main rhythmic engine of the music, but also a magnificent colorist Works on Canvas is an amazing portrait of one of this generation’s most colorful drummers.