Blackman, Cindy [Cynthia Regina]
- Gareth Dylan Smith
(b Yellow Springs, OH, Nov 18, 1959). American drummer. She was raised in Connecticut among a family of eclectic musicians and music-lovers. At the age of eight she decided to become a drummer. She played in school ensembles and a local fife-and-drum corps before studying classical percussion at the University of Hartford and jazz at the Berklee College of Music. From 1982 she moved to New York and befriended jazz drummers including Max Roach, Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, Roy Haynes, and Philly Joe Jones. Around the same time, she played with, among others, George Braith, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, Don Pullen, Esther Thomas, and Sam Rivers’s Big Band. From 1987 she has led her own groups and performed with them around the world; her sidemen have included Wallace Roney, Gary Bartz, Gary Thomas, Antoine Roney, Marc Copland, Jacky Terrasson, Charnett Moffett, Clarence Seay, and Ugonna Okegwo. As a freelancer she has also worked with Ravi Coltrane, Roney, Rachel Z, and Michael Marcus. Blackman dismisses the notion of the drums as a man’s instrument, maintaining positions in the top tier of both rock and jazz musics internationally. Her high profile as a drummer is matched among women only by Sheila E and is due mostly to a 14-year stint with the rock musician Lenny Kravitz (...