Tag Archives: jazz banjo

THE SPARKS WILL FLY (November 21, 2010)

Tri-State Jazz Society presents Cynthia Sayer and the Sparks Fly Quintet, Sunday November 21, from  2 – 5 pm.

Cynthia’s quintet features herself on banjo, vocals, and irrepressible enthusiasm; Charlie Caranicas on trumpet and eloquence; Scott Robinson on many saxophones and gratifying surprises; Mike Weatherly on string bass, vocals, and rocking swing; Larry Eagle on percussive propulsion (also called his trap kit).  Having seen and admired Cynthia in many performance settings, I can assure readers that they will be enlightened, entertained, and never bored — her musical and emotional range is wide and deep.

This concert will be held at the Brooklawn American Legion Post at 11 Railroad Ave, Brooklawn NJ 08030. Half-price admission is $10 available for first-time attendees and members.  High school and college students with IDs and children accompanied by a paying adult are free.  Pay at the door; there are no advance sales or reservations. The American Legion hall is approximately 10 minutes from the Walt Whitman Bridge. For information call (856) 720-0232 or visit www.tristatejazz.org.

 Cynthia has accumulated numerous awards and honors, including induction into the National Banjo Hall of Fame. Her most recent CD release, “Attractions,” which includes legendary jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, received two 2009 award nominations. She is also a subject of a PBS documentary about the banjo, expected to be aired in 2011. Please visit www.cynthiasayer.com for more about Cynthia, the band, their concert performances and samples of music and video recordings.

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CYNTHIA SAYER at the KNICKERBOCKER! (June 12-13, 2009)

Cynthia SayerCynthia Sayer, the banjo virtuoso, engaging singer and pianist, has been busy of late working on a variety of projects.  And that busy-ness has meant that she hasn’t taken as many gigs in New York City as she might . . . but that is about to be rectified in a most swinging way. 

Cynthia and the delightful pianist Mark Shane — justly celebrated in this blog — will be performing on June 12 and 13 (Friday and Saturday) at the Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, 33 University Place at Ninth Street.  (212.228.8490, or www.knickerbockerbarandgrill.com., you choose.)  The practical details?  The cover charge is modest (the last time Cynthia performed there, it was $5.)  The music will begin at 9:45. 

Cynthia says:

“Surprise guest players” have often stopped by to sit in for some tunes in the past.  Anything is possible!  

Knickerbocker gigs offer me the very rare opportunity to play duos with pianists.  I know that the whole banjo/piano duo concept is an old cliche so maybe it seems sort of funny how unusual it is for me, but it’s true. (Please visit my January 2009 YouTube clips from Smalls to get an idea of a typical line-up for me.)  I’m enjoying the change, not to mention working with various wonderful pianists.  My repertoire will include popular ’20s – ’40s tunes and some lesser known gems that I like, plus of course some features from Mark.  Some tunes I like are, of course,  “Them There Eyes,” “You Always Hurt The One You Love,” “Over The Rainbow,” “What’ll I Do,”  “Doin’ The New Low Down,” “The Glory Of Love,, “There Aint No Sweet Man (That’s Worth the Salt Of My Tears),”  “El  Choclo,” “Shakin’ The Blues Away,”  and “Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Love.”

I don’t see why anyone should need more information before marking their calendars, but if anyone does, why not visit Cynthia’s website, www.cynthiasayer.com.  (Incidentally, the portrait comes from the cover of her newest CD, ATTRACTIONS, which lives up to its name.)  This gig is something to look forward to!