Cindy Blackman Santana: Drummer

Mar 9, 2017

Throughout the month of March, KUVO celebrates Women’s History Month by recognizing the contributions of notable women from the past who have impacted music. We will also be spotlighting women of the present who are actively creating memorable music today.

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. 

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“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.” more

Cindy Blackman Santana