Get to Know: Cindy Blackman Santana

We all know Cindy Blackman Santana is a bonafide drum goddess. How can she not be after having played with the likes of husband, Santana, and rocker, Lenny Kravitz? We wanted to dive deeper into such an incredible career so we chatted with the drumstress herself about everything from her early years in music to advice she has for up and coming musicians.

How and when were you first introduced to the drums?

My first introduction to the drums was by hearing music on Records! I loved the sound, vibe and feel of the instrument! I started asking for drums at about age 4.
 I saw a drum set in person for the first time at a BBQ given by my mom’s boss…
I begged even harder and got my 
first drum set at age 7.
 I’ve been playing ever since!

What was the first song your learned to play?

One of the first was ‘What is Hip’ by Tower of Power

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Tony Williams, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Philly Joe Jones, Coltrane, Max Roach,
 Roy Haynes, James Brown, Jimmy Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and many others.

What for you is the most important aspect to a successful show?

Being ready, focused and joyful!

Can you tell us about one of your most memorable performances?

Well here are three- Leverkusen w/ My Band, Afro Punk w/ Lenny Kravitz and
AT&T Park w/ Santana!

What are the top pieces of gear you can’t live without?

My OM cymbals, my Gretsch drums, my black beauty snare drum, my DW 9000 pedal and my REVs!

What advice do you have for up and coming musicians?

Listen, practice, play, study, watch, listen, practice, play, study, watch and HAVE FUN!