All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Cynthia Sayer

Cynthia Sayer

Multi-award-winning instrumentalist/vocalist/bandleader Cynthia Sayer is acclaimed by musicians, critics, and fans alike as the top 4-string banjoist in the world today. Praised for her “drive and virtuosity” by the New York Times, Cynthia enchants audiences with her electrifying, swing-based performances and captivating stage presence wherever she appears.

An inductee into the American Banjo Hall Of Fame, and winner of the 2019 Bistro Award and 2018 Global Music Awards, Cynthia garnered cheering crowds and her usual standing ovation at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival. Other USA festivals include appearing as a Special Guest at the prestigious 2019 Django Reinhardt Festival in NYC, headlining at the 2017 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival, the 2017 Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, and numerous others. Multiple international jazz festivals have honored Cynthia as “Festival Favorite” and readers polls have named her “Favorite Living Banjo Player,” “First-Choice Headliner,” and “Best Banjo Player.” Cynthia has appeared as a guest and performer on CBS, FOX & ABC network television shows, including Good Morning America and The Morning Show, as well as on NPR's Piano Jazz, Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, BBC Radio, and elsewhere. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, DownBeat, Fretboard Journal, International Musician, People Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and countless other local, trade, and foreign media outlets.

Read more


Cynthia Sayer is a rarity; a woman who plays banjo with drive and virtuosity.” — THE NEW YORK TIMES

“She's pushing the four-string banjo into new, uncharted territory.” — FRETBOARD JOURNAL

“Some of [the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest ] best moments...Cynthia Sayer and her Joyride Quartet was a fresh breeze. Power banjo, very cool.” — OFFBEAT MAGAZINE

“Sayer is not only one of the best banjo players around, she's also a sincere vocalist who effectively puts across songs.” — NEW YORK POST

“A dazzling evening, a capacity crowd... Nobody wanted it to end.” — GUARDIAN NEWS (England)

“Sayer repeatedly demonstrated her highly celebrated and long-standing mastery of the jazz banjo.” — BISTRO AWARDS

“She takes us into places where you’d never expect the banjo to be admitted and makes herself completely at home.” — DICK HYMAN, NEA Jazz Master

“Pioneering musician introduces hot jazz to China...The audience gushed about how much they enjoyed her show.” — GLOBAL TIMES (China)

“She can really play

Read more




Plunk Records



Plunk Records


CYNTHIA: Reissue...

New York Jazz records


String Swing

Jazzology Records


Jazz At Home




Plunk Records/Yerba Buena Jazz



Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.