Dr. Cynthia J. Felton serves as Artistic Director of The Ethnomusicology Library of American Heritage, a library of encyclopedias that traces contributions of music created in America.
Cynthia is active as a performer and an educator. Her background prepared her well for both career areas. She has a Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music, a Master of Arts degree from New York University in Jazz Performance, and a Doctorate in Jazz Studies from the University of Southern California.
Her singing style embodies jazz, rhythm & blues, and gospel music -- a perfect fit for the broad stylistic range of compositions she chose for her debut recording. image_page3
Cynthia's new release, Afro Blue, pays tribute to the legendary Oscar Brown Jr. whose work she greatly admires. The cd features twelve songs either written by Oscar or for which he wrote lyrics. In addition to Mongo Santamaria's Afro Blue, the cd features other jazz classics such as Miles Davis’ All Blues, and Bobby Timmons’ Dat Dere.
Cynthia produced and arranged all of the music on this CD, and created settings which not only provide a showcase for her own prodigious talents but also those of the outstanding musicians with which she chose to surround herself. All of the instrumentalists on this recording shine as superlative and sensitive accompanists, and many also contribute wonderfully effective and imaginative solos. Some of the musicians include Cyrus Chestnut, Robert Hurst, Jeff Tain Watts, Ernie Watts, Patrice Rushen, and Wallace Roney, to name a few.