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Cindy Blackman: Explorations LIVE at Jazz Standard

March 23, 2012

Cindy Blackman, an intensely locomotive drummer best known for her work with Lenny Kravitz, spearheads a band loosely in the fusion lineage, featuring two pianists — Marc Cary on synthesizers and Zaccai Curtis on Fender Rhodes piano — along with a tenor saxophonist, Antoine Roney, and a bassist, Rashaan Carter.
On being a female musician; “There are people who have opinions about whatever and whoever, in terms of gender, in terms of race and weight, hairstyle, religion,” says Blackman. “But to me, your personality influences what you play and what you do, but everything else is for you to develop and to nourish and to take further, and that’s where I’m at. In terms of my goals, me being a female drummer has nothing to with anything except for the fact that I wear bras and panties and guys don’t”
“Any woman, or anyone facing race prejudice, weight prejudice, hair prejudice … if you let somebody stop you because of their opinions, then the only thing you’re doing is hurting yourself. I don’t want to give somebody that power over me.”
On Jazz; “To me, jazz is the highest form of music that you can play because of the creative requirements.”
Having studied at the Hart College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut and Berklee College of Music in Boston, her interest in Jazz began at the early age of 13- getting her first professional drum set at the age of 14- citing Max Roach and Tony Williams as her first inspirational influences. Blackman comes from a musical family, both her mother and grandmother were classical musicians and her uncle a vibist.
The “Drumstress” moved to New York in the early ‘80’s and shortly began working with Art Blakey- who became “like a father to her” and taught her many ins and outs of an industry that at first would give her a hard time for being a female artist. You can catch Cindy Blackman 3.27 & 3.28 at Jazz Standard.

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