Scott’s star shines bright

music May 15, 2018 14:21

By The Nation

2,734 Viewed

The Living Room lounge of the Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit Hotel brings back popular American chanteuse Cynthia Scott, who starts a month-long residency in Bangkok from tonight (May 15).

An extraordinary jazz vocalist, Scott will be backed by the acclaimed Randy Cannon Group.

For more than four decades, the vocal artistry of the Arkansas-born vocalist has encompassed the swing of jazz, the soul of blues, R&B, and the sacred stirrings of gospel music.

Discovered by the late Ray Charles, she has a following from New York to Africa, Europe and Asia, and is a favourite of such musicians as Wynton Marsalis.

“I learned from Ray Charles to tell the story and do it your way, with all your roots included,” she says.

A true natural, Scott was exposed to a wide variety of music at an early age. “I loved Carmen McCrae. I heard her story when she sang. Roberta Flack … I could sing her ‘Chapter Two’ album straight through, note per note. Aretha Franklin always amazed me with the way you could really feel her. And then later there was Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday … talk about emotions on your sleeve,” she enthuses.

Scott moved to Dallas after she graduated from high school in Arkansas and honed her craft with some of the best musicians on the jazz scene. Her big break came in 1972 when she received a call from Ray Charles asking her to be a Raelette backing singer. Scott worked with the genius for two years. “I felt like I knew Ray's spirit because when you work with someone as closely as I did with Ray, you learn so much,” she recalls. She also toured Europe with Oscar Peterson, with Joe Pass and the Count Basie Orchestra with Joe Williams.

In 2016, Scott was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame, an honour that marks a lifetime of outstanding achievements and dedication to jazz.

Cynthia Scott and the Randy Cannon Group perform Tuesday to Thursday from 9.15 and Friday and Saturday from 8.30.

Book a table at (02) 649 8353 or email