Cindy Blackman Santana, drummer for Lenny Kravitz and Carlos Santana, rocks The Carlyle Room in DC

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Cindy Blackman Santana, drummer for Lenny Kravitz and Carlos Santana, rocks The Carlyle Room in DC

Cindy Blackman Santana, drummer for Lenny Kravitz and Carlos Santana, rocks The Carlyle Room in DC

Drummer Cindy Blackman Santana brings her electrifying beats to The Carlyle Room, sharing insights on her music and journey.

Renowned drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, known for her powerhouse performances with music icons like Lenny Kravitz and Carlos Santana, recently mesmerized audiences at The Carlyle Room in DC. The accomplished musician, celebrated for her diverse drumming styles and innovative flair, shared her experiences and musical evolution in a candid interview with WTOP.

Cindy Blackman Santana, drummer for Lenny Kravitz and Carlos Santana, rocks The Carlyle Room in DC
Cindy Blackman Santana, drummer for Lenny Kravitz and Carlos Santana, rocks The Carlyle Room in DC

 

A Fusion of Sounds and Styles

Born in Yellow Springs, Ohio, in 1959, Blackman Santana’s musical journey began with a rich tapestry of influences, ranging from funk and jazz to classical and rock ‘n roll. Her early exposure to these genres laid the foundation for her eclectic drumming style, characterized by its dynamic range and rhythmic complexity.

A Journey of Musical Exploration

Blackman Santana’s musical odyssey led her to study at prestigious institutions such as the Hartt School of Music in Hartford and the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Despite eventually dropping out to join the doo-wop group The Drifters, she acknowledges the experience as a valuable learning opportunity that honed her skills and provided much-needed stability.

From the Big Apple to the City of Angels

In 1993, Blackman Santana made a pivotal move to New York City, where she would receive a life-changing call from Lenny Kravitz. Invited to audition for his music video “Are You Gonna Go My Way,” she impressed Kravitz and became his touring drummer for nearly two decades. Her tenure with Kravitz was highlighted by electrifying performances and featured in the concert documentary “Alive from Planet Earth,” filmed live in Australia.

Redefining Musical Boundaries

Reflecting on her musical journey, Blackman Santana emphasized the creative freedom she enjoys with her band. “We have quite a few originals and a few works by other people like Wayne Shorter that we’ve kind of revamped, so they sound a little different, which is great, we put a new spin on them,” she told WTOP. “This band is so great, everybody’s got such big ears that the music is really able to take a lot of journeys, twists and turns, so it keeps the excitement, it keeps the energy and everyone has a really great sound on their instrument.”

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