Meet the Musicians
Theme Songs
Rhythm of the Stars
Ya Gotta Laugh
Tito Puente Tribute

Cindy Blackman

Cindy Blackman is a gorgeous woman with a charming demeanor and a great drummer with an aggressive style of playing. She has has a wonderful musical resume. She has a very positive attitude about being a female drummer in a man's world. "It doesn't matter, male, female or whatever, I love the competitiveness." Originally from Ohio, she is now living in Brooklyn.

One of the main things that brought her to New York was her competitive spirit. Cindy believes that competition pushes her to better herself. She has played with great musicians such as Joe Henderson, Jackie McLean, Hugh Masekela and Lenny Kravitz.

I was able to relate to Cindy because jazz has always been one of my first loves. Jazz is an art form that is forever evolving.

It is always vital. Of course, jazz is not always accepted by the mainstream or is the standard music played at soccer stadiums. Nevertheless, Cindy has played drums behind Kravitz at a soccer stadium in Europe, on the same program as Aeromith.

To Cindy, jazz is best performed in intimate, small clubs. In this setting she gets a feeling of the people who are there, and the other musicians. She believes "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!"

I imagine that when Cindy plays jazz, she has the thrill of living in the moment -- a joy that people like myself rarely ever experience. As a photographer I must wait for the picture to develop. As a product developer, I must wait for the product to hit the stores. Gratification is delayed. However, as a musician, Cindy can experience fulfillment in the moment and that is wonderful.

Many great drummers, great musicians and great musical personalities influenced and shaped Cindy's playing style such as Tony Williams, Art Blakey, Philly Joe Jones, Roy Haynes, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday and Pete La Rocca. In other words, Cindy draws from a wide variety of jazz legends.

Pete La Rocca also has a reputation as a timbale player that has translated into his particular style of drumming. That is one of the things Cindy loves about him. He plays what Cindy calls a one-handed timbale style on drums. She describes it as incredible. Some of the people who know La Rocca well are aware that his original name was Pete Simms. He made up the name "La Rocca" so that it would sound more Latin. As a seventeen your old, Pete would do battle on timbale with the King, Tito Puente a the Park Plaza ballroom in New York City.

Regarding Latin music performers, Giovanni Hidalgo amazed Cindy. She thinks his playing is incredible. She also likes Fort Apache Band and thinks Jerry Gonzalez and Steve Berrios are terrific. Drummer Steve Berrios showed her ways to get different sounds out of different drums.

Cindy Blackman is a very productive woman. Not only has she worked with Lenny Kravitz for six years, she also leads her own groups, has her own recordings and CDs, and freelances with different people. She has 5 CDs out, the latest is called "In The Now" from High Note Records. Playing on the CD are established, great musicians like Ron Carter, Ravi Coltrane, and Jackie Terrasson. She also has another CD that will be released within the next couple of months.

To learn more about Cindy Blackman, CLICK HERE.