Woody Allen Bandmember Out To Popularize The “Other” Banjo
Acclaimed Banjo Master Cynthia Sayer Announces Rare Local Concert
Toms River: Internationally celebrated jazz banjoist Cynthia Sayer is on a mission to bring the 4-string jazz banjo back to popularity. A founding member of Woody Allen’s jazz band, Sayer leads her all-star Sparks Fly Quartet for a rare Toms River concert appearance on Wednesday, August 13, at 8:00pm for Ocean County College’s Midweek Jazz Series, at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts, Main Campus, Toms River, NJ. Sayer’s vocals are divine and her banjo a driving force of nature – think Django Reinhardt meets Bela Fleck – as she swings through an eclectic program of hot jazz, tango, Great American Songbook, vaudeville, classical, roots music, and more. Tickets: $22 adult / $18 senior / $12 student. Call the Box Office at 732-255-0500, or ocean.universitytickets.com.
SHORT BIO OF CYNTHIA SAYER
Contemporary, edgy, and soulful, Cynthia Sayer breaks all the banjo player stereotypes as she single-handedly brings the 4-string banjo to the forefront of jazz. Celebrated as the top 4-string jazz banjoist in the world today and praised for her “drive and virtuosity” by the New York Times, Cynthia is a founding member of Woody Allen's New Orleans Jazz Band with whom she played and toured for over 10 years. Her solo career has taken her well beyond these New Orleans roots as a dynamic instrumentalist, vocalist and entertainer, and whose eclectic, swing-based shows embody the rarely heard range and versatility of the 4-string banjo. Sayer has played with many leading jazz, popular & roots artists, including Bucky Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Les Paul, Marian McPartland, Wynton Marsalis, Marvin Hamlisch, John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Charlie Giordano (Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band), Tony Trischka, Andy Statman, and many others. Recent press includes appearing on ABC TV’s “World News Now,” Fox 5 TV’s “Good Day New York,” the national TV & radio show “Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour,” the popular National Public Radio show, “Piano Jazz,” being featured in the premiere jazz publication Downbeat Magazine, and being selected as one of the Top-10 Concerts in Pittsburgh. Her new CD, “JOYRIDE”, is receiving rave reviews.
Cynthia has accumulated numerous awards and honors throughout her career, including induction into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame. She has performed at the White House, was the Official Banjoist for the New York Yankees, and is the topic of a Trivial Pursuit question! Cynthia was also a subject of the PBS TV documentary, “Give Me The Banjo.” Her soundtrack credits include several Woody Allen Films on banjo, ukulele and piano (That’s Cynthia on uke in his current release, “Magic In The Moonlight.”) Cynthia endorses Ome Banjos, GHS Strings, Blue Chip Picks, and The Realist Banjo Pickups by David Gage. Website: www.cynthiasayer.com
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