Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
Mullis, Cynthia (A.)
Mullis, Cynthia (A.), saxophones (tenor, alto, soprano), clarinet, bass clarinet, educator, performer; b. Albuquerque, NM 14 August 1964. Cynthia was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Parents: John L. (1/3/37) and Mary R. Mullis (2/1/1939) retired and still living in Albuquerque. Brother: John S. Mullis (6/30/1964), living in Denver with 4 kids and wife Laura, earned Bachelor of Music Education on trombone from University of Northern Colorado.
Cynthia Mullis earned a Master of Arts in Jazz Performance (1994) from Queens College in NYC where she studied with Jimmy Heath and Sir Roland Hanna. In addition she has studied with Roger Greenberg, John McNeil, Sean Osborn, Jovino Santos Neto and many others. She holds a Bachelor of Music Performance (1986) degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She also has a certificate in Arts Management from the University of Washington (2003). Cynthia has performed in numerous jazz, classical, pop and experimental ensembles. She led her own jazz quartet in New York and performed at the Knitting Factory Jazz Festival through Music Under New York. While in San Francisco, she was a founding member of the Five-Winged Bird jazz saxophone quintet with Susie Laraine and was co-founder of the Jazz Women Network. Theater work includes the California Shakespeare Festival, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, City College Opera, the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society, and The Big Apple Circus. From 1994-1999 she played tenor saxophone in the all-women big band Diva, based in New York City. With Diva, she performed extensively across the United States, backing such artists as Diane Schuur, Joe Williams, Dave Brubeck and James Brown. Venues played with Diva include the Blue Note, Birdland, and Tavern on the Green in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the SS Norway and QE2 Floating Jazz Festivals, and jazz festivals in Berlin, Montreal, Austria and Switzerland. She performed with Diva at the 25th Anniversary of the Kennedy Center which was televised in August 1996. Currently active in the Seattle music scene after many years in New York City and San Francisco. Since moving to Seattle in July 2000, Cynthia has performed with the Jazz Police, the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Becca Duran and Jay Thomas, the Washington Wind Symphony, Philharmonia NW, the Tacoma Symphony, and many others. She was a recipient of a 2001 Artist Support Grant from Jack Straw Productions. Cynthia is the leader/saxophonist of the bands Inside Job and New York Confidential, which perform at numerous functions in the Seattle area.
Her partner is Carolyn Caster, trombonist in Seattle big bands and software developer at Boeing. They met in Montana when traveling with Diva. She lived in Seattle, and Mullis lived in NYC.
Inside Job (2002); The Doppio Effect
Diva: Leave It to Diva, I Believe in You; Yehudit: Yehudit