Cindy Blackman Santana

Cindy Blackman-Santana, born Cindy Blackman on November 18, 1959 in Yellow Springs, OH, is an American jazz and rock drummer, best-known for recording and touring with Lenny Kravitz.

Cindy first gained an interest in the drums around the age of 5-6. By the time she was 13, she received her first professional drumkit and went on to play in her high school band.

Her recording career began in the late ’80s, and she has released albums with an acoustic ensemble—the Cindy Blackman quartet—as well as with her electric outfit.  One she cites as among her favorites is 2000’s Works On Canvas.

Besides recording several straight-ahead jazz albums under her own name, Cindy has performed with numerous acclaimed jazz and rock artists, including Pharoah Sanders, Ron Carter, Sam Rivers, Cassandra Wilson, Angela Bofill, Buckethead, Bill Laswell and Joe Henderson. Tony Williams is her main drumming influence. In 1997 she recorded Multiplicity as a drum teaching video. "To me, jazz is the highest form of music that you can play because of the creative requirements," says Blackman.

In 2010, Blackman married rock legend, Carlos Santana. She was also a part of the all-star line-up performing “Bitches Brew,” a tribute to Miles Davis’ seminal album staged at the San Francisco Jazz Festival and NYC Winter JazzFest.

Cindy continues to develop the heady jazz-rock fusion that she drives so powerfully on 2010’s Another Lifetime. The tour de force album is a tribute to her mentor, the legendary drummer Tony Williams, and features reimaginings of eight songs from his seminal ’70s group Lifetime, as well as three original tracks by Cindy.