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March 16, 2011

NYU Jazz Interview Series: Cindy Blackman

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We didn’t know if Cindy was going to make it to the interview as she was delayed in Europe due to a floating ash cloud that was wreaking havoc from the volcano eruption in Iceland. With flights canceled left and right, Cindy navigated her way home like a pro and arrived at the interview early and energized. Right off the bat, Cindy was warm and friendly. Instantly, she made me, and the audience, feel as if we were old friends, totally disarming and sense of ego as she filled the room with amazing positive spirit. Cindy’s life has been exceptional in every way, being musically adopted early on by legendary drummers including Art Blakey, Elvin Jones and Tony Williams, she has truly been to the mountain and learned her lessons well from the greatest musicians of out time. But, in talking with her one-on-one, it was obvious that while she is surrounded by an elite group of inspired artists, her personality is grounded along with us common folk as she easily related to anyone in the room and shared her life experiences openly and even with tongue in cheek. There are no musical boundaries for Cindy as she has adapted to a wide array of musical styles, Joe Henderson to Lenny Kravitz. And since our interview, Cindy has become known as Mrs. Carlos Santana. No surprise here, two inspired spirits finding each other.

- Dave Schroeder, NYU Jazz Interview Series Host



Recommended:
Another Lifetime

Produced by NYU Jazz Studies Dept. and Jazz Online and in association with Barnes & Noble, The NYU Steinhardt Jazz Series features interviews with the jazz greats. The series is hosted by Dave Schroeder, Director of Jazz Studies at NYU Steinhardt.


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