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Cynthia Scott

Express Your Vision

  • 1 hour
  • 125 US dollars
  • Cynthia will invite you to Zoom

Details & Information

Cynthia Scott is a jazz vocalist known for her work as one of Ray Charles’s Grammy winning “Raelettes” and for her subsequent solo career. She was named Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State in 2004 and was Wynton Marsalis’s choice for the first person to give a concert in the Lincoln Center’s Rose Room. She was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2016. Cynthia was the tenth of twelve children—six boys and six girls. She began singing at age four in her father’s church but exposed her ear to secular music by sneaking over to her older sister’s house, where she enjoyed, as she said, “a different set of rules.” As a teenager, she joined a band called the Funny Company featuring the Sisters of Soul, a girl-group modeled after the Supremes, and performed locally for proms and homecoming celebrations. A month after graduation, Scott secretly entered the annual Miss El Dorado pageant, which was then exclusively for white contestants. She won second runner-up and became the first woman of color to place in a white pageant. In 1971, Scott moved to Dallas, Texas, where she became one of Texas Int'l Airlines’ first African-American stewardesses and spent her leisure time performing with Dallas jazz regulars such as James Clay, Claude Johnson, Roger Boykin, Onzy Matthews, Marchel Ivery, and Red Garland. The following year, she received an early morning call from Ray Charles, who asked her to perform with him. She performed as a Raelette for two years, touring the world on Charles’s private plane. Scott went on to sing with a few of Charles’s band members: Hank Crawford, Marcus Belgrave, Leroy Cooper, and David “Fathead” Newman. She received a call in the late 80’s from NYC club owner John Santini to sing at Chelsea Place as a duo. Scott hired pianists Larry Siebeth, Mike Wolf, Mike Pallera and a then undiscovered Harry Connick Jr. to accompany her and decided to make NYC her home. When Wynton Marsalis needed to test the acoustics at Jazz at Lincoln Center, they chose Scott's voice to test the acoustics of the room. After Scott moved to New York City, she completed her bachelor and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music. She headlines at Birdland, Iridium, Smoke, Dizzy's, Kennedy Center and was featured vocalist at the Supper Club in Times Square for ten years. She worked with Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway, and Wynton Marsalis. Visit

Cancellation Policy

Site Wide Cancellation Policy No cancellation is needed for Member Classes Private lessons must be cancelled or rescheduled 24 hours in advance Multi-Week Courses must be cancelled one week in advance of start date

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