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Basic Black; Jazz and Rock Drummer Cindy Blackman


CC Master Jazz and Rock Drummer Cindy Blackman Show #4005

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Basic Black
Jazz and Rock Drummer Cindy Blackman
Program Number


Series Description

THe series was formerly known as Say Brother. Series title change as of 1/8/1998. This series is black produced and is one of public television's longest-running series that is rooted in and reflects the culture, concerns, achievements and history of people of African descent. Also includes controversial issues, African American artists, and events of special interest to the African American community.

Series release date: 1/8/1998

Program Description

Cindy Blackman discovered her love of drumming at age 7. "I was begging for drums prior to that — all my life, really," she says. "When I listened to music or when I was fortunate enough to see a live band, the drums and the drummer were the one thing that always caught my attention."

Today, Blackman navigates the worlds of jazz and rock. In a career that has spanned more than 20 years, she has played for many jazz greats, including Pharoah Sanders, Jackie McLean, Hugh Masekela, and Cassandra Wilson. She and her jazz quartet have released several albums. And rock fans know Blackman as the drummer for Lenny Kravitz.

In this episode of Basic Black, Blackman discusses her musical influences, the phone call that led to Kravitz, her experiences as a female drummer, and how she connects to music spiritually. Then we go backstage with Blackman during an impromptu drumming session at her alma mater, Boston's Berklee College of Music.

Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Race and Ethnicity
Social Issues
Chicago: “Basic Black; Jazz and Rock Drummer Cindy Blackman,” 12/18/2008, GBH Archives, accessed June 17, 2024,
MLA: “Basic Black; Jazz and Rock Drummer Cindy Blackman.” 12/18/2008. GBH Archives. Web. June 17, 2024. <>.
APA: Basic Black; Jazz and Rock Drummer Cindy Blackman. Boston, MA: GBH Archives. Retrieved from
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