On Wednesday, January 19, the wildly-talented jazz vocalist Cynthia Scott will be joining the students of the Children’s Workshop School (CWS) during their annual MLK performance. Accompanied by children in pre-K to grade 5, Ms. Scott will be singing her moving rendition of the original song, “I Have a Dream,” written by her late brother- in-law, Rev. Clint Levert, Jr. Afterward, the entire student body will join together in performing “We Shall Overcome.” Skits with civil-rights themes will also be performed by the students throughout the evening.
(To hear a recording of Cynthia Scott singing “I Have a Dream,” please visit http://www.cynthiascott.com/
Although more typical venues for Ms. Scott have included the Supper Club and Lincoln Center’s Rose Room (she was actually the first person to sing there, testing the acoustics), she will be partnering with CWS out of a mutual love for the ideals represented by MLK. Evidence of Dr. King’s profound influence on Children’s Workshop and CWS’s commitment to all-inclusivity can be seen in its calendar: only one holiday is officially celebrated within the confines of the school—yes, you guessed it: Martin Luther King Day.
In fact, much of the curriculum in January focuses on Dr. King's teachings, and civil rights are stressed throughout the year. And if you need more evidence, a Peace mural painted by the students alongside the playground boasts the handiwork of a guest-artist:
CWS principal and co-founder, Maria Velez-Clarke, comments on her vision for starting the school in 1993: “We set up the school with the concept based around the spirit, life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King,” she says. Whereas diversity has long been an academic buzz word that often means very little, it’s an everyday reality at CWS, where the student body varies widely in ethnicity, nationality and socioeconomic background. Perhaps more tellingly, the school’s theme song is “We’re All a Family Under One Sky” —embodying the energy one quickly feels upon visiting Children’s Workshop.
Cynthia Scott and the students of CWS will be performing at I.C.E., a nearby middle-to-high school. It might be cold out, but Ms. Scott will likely be smokin’ while the CWS students exude their charismatic warmth.
Why is a performer of Cynthia Scott’s caliber doing this?
When you hear the heartfelt soulfulness of Ms. Scott singing “I Have a Dream” matched with the rainbow of faces and purity of voices of the school children, that question will answer itself!
About Cynthia Scott:
For three decades, the vocal artistry of the Arkansas-born vocalist Cynthia Scott has encompassed the swing of jazz, the soul of R&B, and the sacred stirrings of gospelmusic. She is loved by audiences from New York to Africa, Europe and Asia; by musicians from Wynton Marsalis to Ray Charles—who discovered her—and by jazz critics like the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich, who called her “a mesmerizing vocalist.” Wynton Marsalis proclaimed that Scott possesses, “the sweetest, most soulful voice with the deepest feeling.”
In the late eighties, Scott got a fateful phone call from a club owner who wanted to book her for an engagement at Chelsea Place in Manhattan. She hired a then-unknown piano player for that engagement; a young man fresh from New Orleans named Harry Connick, Jr., who later introduced her at a David Letterman Christmas party as “one of the world’s finest jazz singers.” That four-week engagement lasted for three years for Cynthia, and she decided to stay in New York. Since then, she has headlined at Birdland, Iridium, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola and many more.
Scott performed in the touring musical, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, a tribute featuring the music of Johnny Mercer, based on the bestselling novel by John Berendt. She’s also an international superstar, as evidenced by her life-changing role as a Jazz Ambassador for U.S. State Department (established with the Kennedy Center) in 2004, where she toured France and West Africa.
Currently Cynthia is working on a one-woman show called One Raelette’s Journey. She has been reviewed with favorable praise in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Time Out NY, The JazzTimes and many more publications.
For more information about Cynthia Scott, visit www.cynthiascott.com
For more information regarding the time and place of the event, please contact the Children's Workshop School at: 212.614.9531
Contact CWS parent Kim Gledhill at 917.757.0861 for pictures of Cynthia or any questions.
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Ttocs Production is responsible for the development and physical production of artist Cynthia Scott and all that she is involved in, including music productions, performing arts, film, radio or a television program