Two For Tuesday: Cindy Bradley

Smooth jazz artists tend to fall into one of four categories: saxophonists, keyboardists, guitarists, and “other.” Trumpeter Cindy Bradley fits into that last category. Although there have been some great trumpeters in the early days of smooth jazz (Herb Alpert and Chuck Mangione, for example), there haven’t been many since.

Cindy, who played piano as a child, took up the trumpet when she was nine, because it was the only instrument she recognized in her band teacher’s list of appropriate instruments. She went on to earn degrees in jazz studies from Ithaca University and jazz trumpet performance from the New England Conservatory. She self-produced her first album, 2007’s Just a Little Bit, before signing with Trippin’ ‘n’ Rhythm Records in 2009. Her album from that year, Bloom, earned her the 2009 Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival Debut Artist of the Year, the American Smooth Jazz Awards Best New Artist, and the Smooth Jazz News Debut Artist of the Year awards.

“Massive Transit” is from her 2011 album Unscripted. As the first single, it reached #1 on the Smooth Jazz Songs chart and remained there for six weeks. The album topped the Jazz Albums chart for two weeks.

“Category A,” from her 2017 album Natural, is her seventh single to reach #1. It features Chris Standring on guitar.

Cindy’s considered a smooth jazz artist, despite the fact that her music is hard to characterize as such. Her influences include Freddie Hubbard and Blue Mitchell, not exactly smooth jazz artists. When not touring or playing at jazz festivals, she’s a band teacher at a public elementary school in New Jersey. Her website tells us she’ll be at The Attucks Theater in Norfolk, Virginia on March 9 and at the Lila Cockrell Theater in San Antonio on April 6.

Cindy Bradley, your Two For Tuesday, February 26, 2019.

7 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: Cindy Bradley

  1. Really enjoyed these two. Funny thing about me and smooth jazz. I’ve listens to it for years but I never payed much attention to the identity of the artist.


    1. I was always interested in the people making the music, not just the lead artist but all the backing musicians, the recording engineer, the person doing the remix, the producer, the music publishers, anything they put on the album jacket. A lot of that information is no longer available, because, with an electronic download or a streaming service, there’s nowhere to put it.


  2. Sorry for being AWOL…always crap happening but let’s put that aside and enjoy her smooth jazz which is one I could listen to because it is unique. Funny how, just from knowing one instrument at age 9, she found her love of music with this instrument.


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