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Who Do We Work With?

Cindy Blackman Santana

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 for the International Herald Tribune.
“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 in itself, 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 ensemble—the Cindy Blackman quartet—as 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.”

Cindy Blackman Santana continues to build a body of work and artistic legacy that make her one of the finest drummers of this or any generation. [READ FULL BIO]

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