Cindy Blackman
American musician
Cindy Blackman
Cindy Blackman is an American jazz and rock drummer. Blackman is best known for recording and touring with Lenny Kravitz. Blackman has recorded several straight-ahead jazz albums under her own name, and has performed with acclaimed jazz and rock artists, including Pharoah Sanders, Ron Carter, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bofill, Buckethead, Bill Laswell and Joe Henderson. Tony Williams is her main drumming influence.
Biography
Cindy Blackman's personal information overview.
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News
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Carlos Santana and Cindy Blackman conjure Jimi Hendrix with national anthem before the NBA Finals
LATimes - 9 months
Guitarist Carlos Santana tried to bring a little Woodstock to Oracle Arena in Oakland on Sunday night. Born in Mexico but based in the Bay Area since grade school, Santana was a natural choice to kick things off with “The Star Spangled Banner” at the NBA Finals, the sort of gig at which teams regularly...
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LATimes article
Chris Kompanek: On the Culture Front: North Sea Jazz Festival and Beyond
Huffington Post - over 4 years
I found myself in Rotterdam this summer covering the North Sea Jazz Festival, one of the largest of its kind that takes place each year in the seaside Dutch town just outside of the more famous "dam." For those like Benjamin Schwarz who proclaimed jazz was dead in a recent article, North Sea stands defiantly vibrant. Stretching over a long weekend in July, a wide range of bands representing jazz past, present and future fill 11 stages for an exceptionally immersive experience. I was surprised at first that this event is held almost entirely indoors (in an oversized convention hall-like space) but soon realized that it allowed for easier maneuvering between stages. Instead of having to walk across a mud soaked field, the next concert was just down a short hallway or up an escalator. It's a crazy maze, to be sure, but one that is a delight to snake through. As with most festivals, conflicts are inevitable and I ended up missing some great musicians -- like McCoy Tyner pl ...
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Huffington Post article
Bonnaroo 2012: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Skrillex, Bon Iver, More
MTV News - about 5 years
Phish, Radiohead, Blackstar, Civil Wars, Roots, Beach Boys also on the bill. By Gil Kaufman <P>The lineup for the 11th annual Bonnaroo Festival features a powerhouse lineup for headliners including Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Phish, along with some recent <a href="http://www.mtv.com/news/grammys">Grammy</a> <a href="/news/articles/1678701/grammy-winners-list.jhtml">winners</a> such as <a href="/news/articles/1679107/grammys-2012-bon-iver-best-new-artist.jhtml">Bon Iver</a> and <a href="/news/articles/1679070/grammys-2012-skrillex-wins.jhtml">EDM star Skrillex</a>.</P><P></p><div class="player-placeholder right" title="How Does Skrillex Feel About Being The Poster Child For EDM?" id="vid:732060.id:1678854" width="240" height="211"></div><p></P><P>As alwa ...
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MTV News article
'Great Women of Jazz,' then and now, in focus - YourNabe.com
Google News - over 5 years
Other artists photographed include Jane Ira Bloom, the only jazz musician commissioned to compose music for NASA's art program, as well as premier drummist Cindy Blackman, who recently married legendary jazz guitarist Carlos Santana
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Google News article
Mike Stern met superband naar Rotterdam - Muziek.nl
Google News - over 5 years
Collega-gitaristen Steve Vai en Eric Johnson, de zingende bassisten Esperanza Spalding en Richard Bona, de drummers Dave Weckl, Terri Lyne Carrington en Cindy Blackman demonstreerden met hun aanwezigheid de status die Stern heeft opgebouwd
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Google News article
Tanze Samba mit mir, Carlos Santana! - nachrichten.at
Google News - over 5 years
Unterstützt von einer neunköpfigen Begleitband (inklusive Carlos' Ehefrau Cindy Blackman, die bereits für Lenny Kravitz hinterm Schlagzeug saß), spielte sich der in Mexiko geborene Saitenvirtuose 135 Minuten lang durch sämtliche Schaffensepochen seiner
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Google News article
Herr Santana und ein bisserl Vorprogramm - Krone.at
Google News - over 5 years
Den Hauptact gab Carlos Santana, der - um es gleich vorweg zu sagen -, bis auf seine trommelnde Ehefrau Cindy Blackman, die sich im ersten Drittel des Sets für ein Solo auf Dennis Chambers' Trommelburg schwang, keine Überraschungen im Gepäck hatte
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Google News article
Carlos Santana and Jimmy Cliff to perform in Belgrade Arena tonight - EMportal
Google News - over 5 years
During the concert, which is expected to last over two hours, Santana will perform a couple of songs together with his wife Cindy Blackman, a jazz and rock drummer. The concert's setlist will include “Spark of the Divine”, “Black in Black”,
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Google News article
Carlos Santana et sa Cindy, Jimmy Cliff : Monstres sacrés en démonstration - Pure People
Google News - over 5 years
Le jeune marié (il a épousé sa compagne Cindy Blackman en décembre dernier), quelques mois après avoir offert au public de nombreuses collaborations de haut vol (Chris Cornell, Scott Weiland, Nas, Joe Cocker...) avec l'album de reprises Guitar Heaven,
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Google News article
Trucks burns, Tedeschi belts and Santana preaches - GenevaLunch
Google News - over 5 years
The musical talent on stage with Santana was potent, and the sets were filled with treats like a 10 minute drum solo by Santana's wife Cindy Blackman Santana together with band member Benny Rietveld who had the crowd dancing to his acrobatic bass lines
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Google News article
Santana y McLaughlin abren Festival de Jazz de Montreaux - La Primera Plana
Google News - over 5 years
Para homenajear a Tony Williams, Cindy Blackman, segunda esposa de Santana, tomó las baquetas y tocó “Vuelta abajo”. Cabe recordar que Williams, en su tiempo, fue baterista de Miles Davis. “Cindy ha hecho suya la tradición de Tony Williams y la ha
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Google News article
Santana : « Droit au cœur ! » - Midi Libre
Google News - over 5 years
Cindy Blackman est-elle avec vous sur scène ? Merci ! Oui, elle joue sur deux titres. Mais c'est Dennis Chambers qui reste mon batteur titulaire. Sur votre dernier album, “Guitar Heaven”, vous interprétez des classiques du rock
Article Link:
Google News article
New York's DareDevil Squadron to rock Sherlock's - GoErie.com
Google News - over 5 years
He studied at Berklee School of Music and also plays guitar with Living Colour's Vernon Reid in the Cindy Blackman Group. Drummer Jason Gianni gives DareDevil Squadron a progressive influence that prevents the band from sounding too British-metal retro
Article Link:
Google News article
Drummer Bobby Sanabria, Latin jazz musicians protest cutting Grammy categories ... - New York Daily News
Google News - over 5 years
Carlos Santana and his wife, drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, issued a public statement calling the changes "irresponsible." On April 6, the president and CEO of NARAS, Neil Portnow, announced that New Orleans-based styles such as zydeco and Cajun,
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Google News article
Grammy Awards reduction draws musicians' protest - San Francisco Chronicle
Google News - over 5 years
Santana and his musician wife, Cindy Blackman Santana, wrote their own letter to the academy, saying: "To remove Latin Jazz and many other ethnic categories is doing a huge disservice to the brilliant musicians who keep the music vibrant for their fans
Article Link:
Google News article
Des musiciens exigent le retour des catégories supprimées des Grammy Awards - The Canadian Press
Google News - over 5 years
Paul Simon ainsi que Carlos Santana et sa femme, la musicienne Cindy Blackman Santana, ont notamment écrit des lettres pour dénoncer la situation et exiger le retour des catégories éliminées au nom de la diversité musicale
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Cindy Blackman
    FIFTIES
  • 2014
    Age 54
    In 2014, Blackman returned to touring with Lenny Kravitz in support of his tenth studio album, Strut.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2011
    Age 51
    She appeared at the 2011 Montreux festival, Switzerland, playing drums for husband Carlos's one off reunion with John McLaughlin, after which she helped mix the sound for the video.
    More Details Hide Details Blackman says her goal is to become a musical virtuoso. "I want to become a virtuoso", says Blackman. "To me, virtuosity is the ability to say anything on your instrument you want to at any given moment." Blackman describes her music as "completely creative". "I want to push the envelope. I want to really expound on some concepts that, to me, are the highest in the improvisation of music", says Blackman. Blackman loves jazz and wants to delve into its intricacies. "Oh my gosh, it’s the best thing in the world", says Blackman. "I feel so blessed, and I’m so thankful to be able to play music. It’s an honor, and it’s a blessing".
  • 2010
    Age 50
    On July 9, 2010, Carlos Santana proposed to Blackman on stage during a concert at Tinley Park, Illinois. Blackman is Santana's touring drummer; he proposed right after her drum solo. They were married on Maui, Hawaii on December 19, 2010.
    More Details Hide Details People Magazine Blackman attended a Baptist church during her teenage years, but became a follower of the Bahá'í Faith at the age of 18; she also started studying Kabbalah in the 2000s. Blackman cultivates spirituality in her musicianship. "I believe that music is so sacred that once you're playing music you are doing the work of prayer, whether you're conscious of it or not, because you have a focused intent", says Blackman. "You transcend, because you're crossing barriers that a lot of people and even us as musicians don't normally venture to, because we don't think about it. When you can learn to move those energies, even if they're sad, into something that is of benefit, like focusing on bringing light to people who are listening, or just to the universe in general, then you can do something good with it. I don't keep that in mind 100 per cent of the time – I'm human – but I try to."
    In 2010 she released a first tribute album to her mentor and dominant inspiration Tony Williams.
    More Details Hide Details Another Lifetime featured Mike Stern on guitar and organist Doug Carn following the line-up of the original Tony Williams Lifetime. As guest musicians appear Joe Lovano, Patrice Rushen and Vernon Reid. Reid is the lead guitarist on the second Williams tribute album Spectrum Road (2012), a collaboration between Blackman, Reid, John Medeski on organ and former bassist of Lifetime and Cream Jack Bruce. Bruce also sings on three tracks of the album and Blackman lend her voice to "Where", originally written by (then Lifetime guitarist) John McLaughlin and sung by Williams (Emergency!, 1969), which already appeared on Another Lifetime in an instrumental version.
  • FORTIES
  • 2007
    Age 47
    In September 2007, she made a tour of South America, teaching clinics in Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, and on November 30, 2007, Blackman and her quartet performed at Art After 5 at the Philadelphia Art Museum.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2005
    Age 45
    In 2005 Blackman released Music for the New Millennium on her Sacred Sounds Label. "It’s rooted in tradition, but it’s not traditional music.
    More Details Hide Details It’s explorative, very creative, very expressive, and we really try to expand any ideas we have that everything is played over the forms, but we like to stretch it, and really see the colors and make the music grow and move", says Blackman. "We experiment — but it’s never free. Everything is written out. I have charts for all the songs. We expand on what’s there, and stretch harmonics and note choices". Blackman continues to make her home in Brooklyn in New York City. "It’s always such an amazing place, with every level of musical accomplishment, you can see complete beginners and you can see innovators. That’s why I live in New York. Not only is it tough, but all the greatest people have come through New York", says Blackman. Blackman prefers to play jazz in small, intimate clubs. "It's an acoustic situation. You are close-knit and you are creating one hundred percent of the time -- so to me it just doesn't really get any better that!" Blackman also travels extensively conducting drum clinics.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1994
    Age 34
    In 1994 Blackman made her first recording with a working group and called the album Telepathy because of the tight communication in the band. "I wanted to do a quartet record because of the amount of space you get with fewer players", she said in Telepathy's liner notes. "It's intimate, but more dimensional than a piano trio.
    More Details Hide Details I'm really into this sound, and it was nice to play with a group that was a group. You can't help but have a better feel when the musicians know each other, are headed in the same direction, and have the same goals. You can make most everything work. You get chances to play a lot of colors, and really stretch your ideas."
  • 1993
    Age 33
    In 1993, Blackman had an opportunity to work with Lenny Kravitz, who is a drummer himself.
    More Details Hide Details From New York, Blackman talked over the phone with Kravitz in Los Angeles, and played drums for him as he listened. Kravitz immediately asked Blackman to fly out to LA. "Lenny asked me can you play something for me over the phone", Blackman says. "So I put the phone down and I started playing something like, BOOSH-bat-bat, BOOSH-BOOSH-BOOSH-bat, and I went back to the phone and I said, 'Can you hear that?' He said, 'Yeah. Can you fly out to L.A. right now?'" "I flew out the next morning. While I’m downstairs waiting for the instruments to come from the studio, these people started coming in. First 12, and then like 30 more. I was like, 'whoa, this is an audition'. I ended up playing and instead of staying for one or two days, I stayed for two weeks and did the first video that I did with him, Are You Gonna Go My Way. Apart from 2004, I played with him ever since."
  • TWENTIES
  • 1988
    Age 28
    In 1988 Blackman released Arcane, her debut as a bandleader.
    More Details Hide Details Her band included Wallace Roney on trumpet, Kenny Garrett on alto saxophone, Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone, Buster Williams and Clarence Seay on bass, and Larry Willis on piano.
  • 1987
    Age 27
    In 1987, Blackman's first compositions appeared on Wallace Roney's Verses album.
    More Details Hide Details When an executive at Muse Records heard Blackman's recordings, he offered her a recording contract to lead her own project.
  • 1984
    Age 24
    In 1984, Blackman was showcased on Ted Curson's "Jazz Stars of the Future" on WKCR-FM in New York.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1982
    Age 22
    While she was at Berklee a friend recommended her for a gig with The Drifters so Blackman left college after three semesters and moved to New York City in 1982.
    More Details Hide Details Blackman worked as a New York street performer but also got a chance to watch and learn. "I looked for Art Blakey, I looked for Elvin Jones, I looked for Philly Joe Jones, for Roy Haynes, for Tony Williams. I saw so many great drummers, like Ed Blackwell and Billy Higgins, Louis Hayes. I saw Al Foster play quite a bit, Billy Hart, Jack DeJohnette. All these people, they’re in New York so I got a chance to watch them do their thing". While in New York, Art Blakey became a significant influence. "He really was like a father to me. I learned a lot just watching him. I asked him a lot of questions about the drums and music -- and he answered all of them. He was fantastic", said Blackman. Blackman initially encountered resistance to a woman playing drums in the jazz world. "I’m a black woman, so I’ve encountered racial prejudice, and I’ve encountered gender prejudice. I’ve also encountered prejudice against my afro when I wore that out. But I’ve also encountered prejudice against my musical opinions. What I’ve learned to do is completely ignore that".
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1959
    Born
    Born November 18, 1959 in Yellow Springs, Ohio, Blackman comes from a musical family, both her mother and grandmother were classical musicians and her uncle a vibist. "My mom, when she was younger, played violin in classical orchestras, and her mom, incidentally, was a classical musician.
    More Details Hide Details My mom used to take me to see classical concerts", says Blackman. "My dad was into jazz -- Miles Davis, Ahmad Jamal, people like that." Blackman's first introduction to the drums happened when she was seven years old in her hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio and attending a pool party at a friend's house, she went to use the bathroom and saw a drum set and just hopped onto the set. "It was incredible", says Blackman. "Just looking at them struck something in my core, and it was completely right from the second I saw them", says Blackman. "And then, when I hit them, it was like, wow, that’s me. That’s completely natural for me. It’s like breathing for me. It didn’t feel awkward at all." After her first introduction to drums at her friend's house, Blackman began playing in the school band and was able to convince her parents to get her a drum set of her own while she was still only seven. "Of course those would be broken up in a matter of days", Blackman says. "The only thing I heard at home was, 'we don't know if you can play drums because one, they're noisy, and two, they're very expensive". Some people ask why she didn't study violin or flute like other girls. "I learned very early on -- when I was 13 -- that when I concentrate on those attitudes, I don't make progress for myself", says Blackman. "If they're not paying my mortgage, I don't care what they think".
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