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Cynthia Sayer is regarded as one of the top 4-string banjoists in the world. A member of Woody Allen’s jazz band for over 10 years, her solo career has taken her well beyond New Orleans roots to become an acclaimed bandleader and guest artist. She has a unique and expansive approach to the instrument, and she is also a respected vocalist. Her eclectic repertoire ranges from swing and hot jazz to tango, western, classical, and more.
Sayer has worked with a variety of leading jazz and popular artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Marian McPartland, Dick Hyman, Bill Cosby, Warren Vaché, Les Paul, Wycliffe Gordon, Marvin Hamlisch, Kenny Davern, Bucky Pizzarelli, Milt Hinton, Randy Sandke, Scott Robinson, and many others. She has also played with some top bluegrass/roots/country artists, including Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Odetta, Eric Weissberg, Mike Marshall, and John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band).
Cynthia’s extensive career has included performances at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and for two U.S. presidents. She has appeared with the New York Philharmonic and on feature film and TV soundtracks including Anything Else, Bullets Over Broadway, Purple Rose Of Cairo, Sophie’s Choice, and The Cosby Mysteries. She has also performed for TV commercials and radio jingles, as well as appeared on numerous national TV and radio shows in the United States and abroad.
Cynthia has accumulated numerous awards and honors, including induction into the National Banjo Hall of Fame. Readers’ polls from both trade and commercial publications have named her “Favorite Living Banjo Player,” “First-Choice Headliner,” “Best Banjo Player,” and “4-String Banjo All Styles” overall. The Dresden International Jazz Festival awarded Cynthia their Festival Trophy. Three of Cynthia’s albums have been named top ten classic jazz releases by Cadence Magazine for the year they were released. Her most recent CD, Attractions, which includes legendary jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, was nominated for both the prestigious 2009 Swing Journal Disc Award in Japan, and the Just Plain Folks 2009 Music Awards, plus was selected for the “Best CDs of 2007” list by the Jazz Journalists Association.