A life-long resident of the Washington DC area, Cyndy Elliott currently works as a freelance bassist, performing many different styles of music in big bands, small combos, orchestras, and chamber ensembles, and is the co-leader of Swingtopia, a jazz octet. She has performed at many of the major venues in DC, including the Atlas Theatre, Bethesda Blues and Jazz, Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, Twins Jazz, and the Terrace Theatre, Millennium Stage, and Concert Hall at the Kennedy Center.
Cyndy has had the honor of working with several renowned musicians from the big band era, including Tex Beneke, Ray Anthony, and Maxine Andrews, and two of the original Mills Brothers, in addition to doing short tours with current versions of the Artie Shaw, Harry James, Jimmy Dorsey, Sammy Kaye, and Les Brown orchestras. Locally she has enjoyed working off and on for many years with the Tom Cunningham Orchestra and the Hank Levy Legacy Band, among many others.
Cyndy spent a number of years “on the road” touring with the big band show “In the Mood” and the Broadway musical “Meet Me in Saint Louis.” She did residencies in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts playing bass and piano with the all-women “Swingtime Canteen” show, in addition to being a frequent sub during its off-Broadway run. Cruise ship work took her to the Caribbean, Central America, and all over Europe. She toured Australia and New Zealand with a jazz trombone ensemble and performed in nine cities throughout China with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony. She is looking forward to subbing with the national tour of “Sister Act” for a few weeks next year.
Cyndy earned a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Maryland in 2009. As a graduate assistant she directed a number of ensembles and taught beginning jazz theory and improvisation.
Prior to turning her attention to bass playing, Cyndy received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Converse College and had a 25 year career as a piano teacher and adjudicator with many award-winning students at the state and local levels and earned permanent certification in piano teaching from MTNA. In addition, she taught theory, ear training, piano, and voice in pre-college programs at Converse College, American University, and Montgomery College.by