When Cindy Douglas went on maternity leave to have her first daughter nine years ago there was more than just one new beginning in her life. Recording a demo of her vocals reawakened her love of jazz, and despite briefly returning to the corporate world of HR, at the end of those 12 months she decided to put her faith in her vocals and turned her back on the nine-to-five altogether.
‘The improvisation aspect of jazz makes it incredibly current,’ said Cindy. ‘It is never done the same, and each time you perform, it’s dependent on the musicians you play with and your relationship with them. Jazz allows you to express feelings in a way that other music does not, where you can be restricted by notes on a page. But with jazz you have a lot of freedom in the way you deliver the music. It’s a very liberated type of music.’
Eager to learn all she could about the medium has seen her study with leading jazz vocal educators, Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, Jay Clayton, Anita Wardell, and Liane Carroll, as well as picking up percussion skills in Havana with members of Cuba’s world-renowned Buena Vista Social Club.
She has quickly become a familiar face across the North-east with her mesmerising vocals. In 2012 Cindy released her first album My New Jive, which was recorded in London with pianist Tim Richard’s trio.
Celebrating what would have been Billy Holiday’s 100th birthday next year, Cindy is to take to the road with saxophonist Konrad Wizniewski on a very special tour, Lady Day & The Pres. Celebrating soul mates Billy Holiday and Lester Young, the duo are to pay tribute to the two icons of jazz and celebrate the legacy that has inspired so many jazz musicians today.