|CYNTHIA SAYER, the internationally celebrated jazz banjoist, will lead her Joyride Quartet in “The Hot Jazz Banjo Show” in a rare New York City concert appearance at the legendary jazz club Birdland on Thursday, March 15 at 6:00 PM. Birdland is located at 315 W. 44th Street in Manhattan. Tickets: $30. For more information: T: (212) 581-3080 or Birdland or Cynthia Sayer.
“Some of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest 2017’s best moments...Cynthia Sayer and her Joyride Quartet was a fresh breeze. Power banjo, very cool.”
— OFFBEAT MAGAZINE
The founding member of Woody Allen’s jazz band, who honed her virtuoso chops playing with many renowned artists, is known and beloved for her electrifying, swing-based performances featuring her distinctive style of jazz banjo, the guitar's predecessor in jazz. Sayer's vocals are divine and her banjo a driving force of nature – think Bela Fleck meets Django Reinhardt – as she delights audiences with an unexpected mix of hot jazz, Great American Songbook, vaudeville, tango, classical, and more.
Appearing with Sayer for “The Hot Jazz Banjo Show” will be DENNIS LICHTMAN on clarinet and violin, JARED ENGEL on string bass, and LARRY EAGLE on percussion.
"A dazzling evening, a capacity crowd... Nobody wanted it to end."
— GUARDIAN NEWS (England)
"Cynthia Sayer almost made the applause meter explode ... Her swingy playing catches you from the start, and her sense of showmanship is present at every second."
— LA DÉPECHE (France)
“Cynthia Sayer has made her mark in the jazz world in an almost unheard of way, on banjo."
—INTERNATIONAL MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
7 THINGS YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE BANJO:
- The banjo evolved from gourd instruments brought over by Africans who were captured for slavery.
- There are huge bass banjos, standing as tall as a string bass, overgrown-looking cello banjos, and even tiny piccolo banjos.
- The banjo was wildly popular in jazz until about 1934, when the guitar came into fashion.
- It was once commonplace for women to play banjo as parlor entertainment for their guests.
- In the late 1800s, there was an effort to “elevate” the lowly image of the banjo by playing classical music on it.
- Early banjo strings were often made from catgut – i.e. sheep or goat intestines, not kitties.
- If you played in a banjo orchestra or banjo club in 1890, then you were extremely cool.