World’s Jazz Banjo Ambassador, Cynthia Sayer, Returns for Two Shows March 14-15, 2015

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The World’s Jazz Banjo Ambassador, Cynthia Sayer, Returns for Two Shows March 14-15, 2015


[Sarasota, FL: February 12, 2015] The one and only Jazz Banjo great Cynthia Sayer is returning “home” for two concerts—8:00PM, Saturday, March 14 and 2:00PM, Sunday, March 15 at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center (7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota).  Accustomed to standing ovations at nearly every concert she performs, Sayer loves her GPAC fans who fill the hall to bursting every time she visits GPAC.  She has sold-out the house for three years in a row!


Tickets for Cynthia Sayer  are on sale now, $22.50 per person, and can be purchased online at, or by calling the GPAC Box Office at 941-552-5325.


“Cynthia Sayer is going to wipe that frown off your face. She strums, picks and glides and sings…. her hot chops on display. What more do you want?”



“Cynthia Sayer is [a] jazz banjo ambassador who time and again has taken her instrument far beyond novelty status…. The tracks offer uncommon interpretations of familiar fare.”



Award-winning instrumentalist, vocalist and bandleader Cynthia Sayer breaks all the banjo player stereotypes as she single-handedly re-popularizes the 4-string banjo in jazz. Celebrated as one of the top 4-string jazz banjoist in the world today — soulful, edgy, both contemporary and classic, and playing a style that is all her own —  she is praised for her “drive and virtuosity” by the New York Times.  Sayer rose to prominence as a founding member of Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band, with whom she played and toured for over 10 years, all the while exploring her wider musical interests and playing with many legendary jazz, popular and roots music artists. Her eclectic, swing-based shows treat audiences to the rarely heard range and versatility of the 4-string banjo, America’s original jazz instrument.  A warm, engaging performer, Sayer receives standing ovations at nearly every concert she performs.


Cynthia appears regularly in concert and at festivals internationally with her bands and as a guest artist, as well as on TV and radio. Some recent shows include sold out houses at prestigious New York City venues Joe’s Pub at the Public Theatre, Lincoln Center, and “Cynthia Sayer’s Hot String Festival” at City Winery NYC, The Winter Jazzfest 2015 and the NY Hot Jazz Festival 2014.  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,” returning as a guest on the popular National Public Radio show, “Piano Jazz,” being featured in the premiere jazz publication Downbeat Magazine, The Wall Street Journal,   Just Jazz Magazine (U.K.), Jazz Journal (U.K.), and being selected as one of the Top-10 Concerts of 2013 in Pittsburgh, and more.


Cynthia has played with a variety of leading artists, including Bucky Pizzarelli, Dick Hyman, Wynton Marsalis, Les Paul, Bill Cosby, Marvin Hamlisch, Kenny Davern, Charlie Giordano (Springsteen’s E Street Band), Milt Hinton, Marian McPartland, Wycliffe Gordon, John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Scott Robinson, Tony Trischka, Andy Statman, and many others.  Her extensive career includes performances in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House for the American Ballet Theater, playing for two U.S. Presidents (once at the White House), appearing with The New York Philharmonic, and playing banjo, ukulele and piano on feature film and TV soundtracks, most recently in Woody Allen’s 2014 release, “Magic In The Moonlight.”  Her numerous awards and honors range from induction into the American Banjo Hall Of Fame to being the subject of a Trivial Pursuit game question.


Three of Cynthia’s albums were selected as a “Top Ten Classic Jazz Release” by Cadence Magazine: THE JAZZ BANJO OF CYNTHIA SAYER (Vol 1), MORE JAZZ BANJO (Vol 2), and  FORWARD MOVES.  ATTRACTIONS, with legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, was nominated for Japan’s 2009 Swing Journal Disc Award as well as the Just Plain Folks 2009 Music Awards, and was selected for the “Best CDs of 2007” list by the Jazz Journalists Association. Cynthia’s most recent release, JOYRIDE, was selected as a “Notable Instrumental Jazz Release” by the Jazz Journalist Association, and is receiving rave reviews.



“She’s pushing the four-string banjo into new, uncharted territory.”



“Sayer’s singing is as nuanced as her banjo playing, with a bright, lively vigor that makes Joyride sparkle with energy.”



“Jazz just doesn’t sound the way it used to. Cynthia is out to reclaim the banjo’s place in the genre.”



“World-class level Sayer and her 4-stringed buddy are no novelty. She’s the real deal and this recording reinforces that standing.”



“A quirky but delightful record! It shows that the tradition of experimentation in the [jazz] genre is not restricted to the more modernistic outreaches. Great fun throughout.”



“If you like banjo, buy it! If you don’t like banjo, buy it! Cynthia is brilliant throughout.”



“She laughs, she loves, she dreams, she speeds, she cruises and occasionally, she bares her teeth…. smashing stereotypes along the way.”



“A revelation.  A world class banjoist, [and] Ms. Sayer really has a beautiful voice.”



“This woman demonstrates a rich and elegant palette and makes us want to listen more to this 4-string instrument.”



“Lou Reed once said, ‘Baby take on a walk on the wild side’ which is exactly what she does. A big winner! ”



“She whips up a fresh take on an old-time sound.”

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