HONOREES

LIST | A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

Ms. Cynthia M. Scott

Cynthia Scott was born in El Dorado, Arkansas the 10th of 12 children. She began singing gospel music at the age of four in her father’s church, the source of her inspirational drive and artistry.

In 1969, Cynthia was the first African American to enter the all-white Miss El Dorado Pageant and won second place. She moved to Dallas in 1971 and became one of the first African American airline stewardesses. In 1973, Cynthia received a call from Ray Charles inviting her to be one of The Raelettes, his all girl back–up group. She recorded and toured the world with Ray’s 17-piece big band, sharing the stage with The Count Basie Orchestra, Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass, Gladys Knight and the Pips and many more. She performed with countless other jazz luminaries after the Raelettes, such as Lionel Hampton, Cab Calloway,Lou Donaldson, Harry Connick, Jr., Norman Simmons, David “Fathead” Newman and Marcus Belgrave and Randy Weston.

In the late eighties, Ms. Scott was booked for a month in New York City’s Chelsea Place. That four-week engagement lasted three years, and Cynthia made New York City her home. She became the featured vocalist at The Supper Club for over ten years. She then headlined at Birdland, Iridium, Dizzy’s Coca Cola and many other chic nightspots. Cynthia also earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Manhattan School of Music.

In 2004, Ms. Scott toured Benin, Gabon, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo and France as a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department in conjunction with the Kennedy Center. She continues to travel and perform at Jazz Festivals and concerts in Japan, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Brazil, Sweden, Canada, Finland and Chile. Scott also teaches/coaches privately and conducts master classes to help develop the talents of other vocalists. Wynton Marsalis chose Cynthia Scott to be the first vocalist to perform in his Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Room.

In 2005, Cynthia toured in the musical, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Scott then wrote One Raelette’s Journey, an autobiographical monodrama with original music and won the Jerry Kaufman Award for Best Playwright in 2015.