Cynthia Sayer is internationally acclaimed as one of the leading jazz banjoists, and is also known for her vocal, entertaining and multi-instrumental talents. Ms. Sayer has worked with such artists as Woody Allen, Dick Hyman, Milt Hinton, Bill Cosby, George Segal, Odetta, Marvin Hamlisch, Bucky Pizzarelli, Kenny Davern, Bob Wilber, Doc Cheatham, Warren Vaché and Ken Peplowski. She tours regularly and is featured in concert and at festivals worldwide.
Cynthia is the pianist and vocalist with “Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band,” including appearing in "Wild Man Blues," the award-winning feature film documentary of Woody Allen filmed during their European concert tour. She was the banjoist with the New York Philharmonic performances of "Rhapsody In Blue," conducted by Kurt Masur. Cynthia has appeared at The White House, plus in New York City's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. She has also worked with films like "Purple Rose Of Cairo" and "Sophie's Choice." Other soundtracks include Woody Allen"s "Bullets Over Broadway" and TV's "The Cosby Mysteries." Her television and radio credits are extensive, both in the USA and abroad, including a recent guest appearance on Marian McPartland’s NPR show, "Piano Jazz."
The Dresden International Jazz Festival 2000 awarded Cynthia their trophy for Festival Favorite, describing her as "a pioneer of a new banjo style... an exceptional artist who, without showy gimmicks, captivates and excites her audiences." The Mississippi Rag 1999 Readers Poll Award listed Cynthia as second for Favorite Living Banjo Player. Also in 1999, readers of the banjo publication The Resonator voted her their first-choice headliner. According to Frets Magazine, where she was a winner of the 1988 Readers Poll Awards for 4-String Banjo All Styles, "Cynthia has great tone and touch and a scorching solo style." The New York Times points out that "within the small society of contemporary jazz banjoists, women are even rarer. One of that very rare breed, Cynthia Sayer, plays with a plunging drive ... and her jazz-inflected singing [has] a deep sense of involvement."
Cynthia composed and produced a series of radio and TV jingles which received significant recognition in the NewYork City region. She co-starred in "The New Spike Jones Show," as featured in People Magazine. Her banjo, vocal, multi-instrumental and acting talents received rave reviews. Cynthia was also the official banjoist for The New York Yankees.
Ms. Sayer's debut album, "The Jazz Banjo Of Cynthia Sayer," featuring Milt Hinton and Dick Wellstood (NY Jazz J-008) was listed as one of the top ten classic jazz releases for 1988 in Cadence Magazine and The Mississippi Rag . Her next recording, "More Jazz Banjo" featuring Bucky Pizzarelli and Dick Wellstood (NY Jazz J-010) received this recognition for 1989. "Forward Moves," featuring Kenny Davern, again received this top-ten recognition for 1993. According to music critic Floyd Levin, "This record attests to Cynthia Sayer's vocal and instrumental talents that have been highly acclaimed by musicians, critics and fans on both sides of the Atlantic." Her 1998 release, “Jazz At Home” (Jazzology JCD-270), also received rave reviews. “String Swing” (Jazzology JCD-370) was released in May, 2000. New York Post jazz critic Chip Deffa describes it as "so warm, direct and swinging -- it gave me so much pleasure." Cynthia's newest release is a multimedia CD entitled, "Souvenirs." It will be available in October, 2002.