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Music has loomed large in Synia’s life since her childhood in Philadelphia where she first began writing her own songs and performing with school and church groups. In high school she ventured out as a solo folk/rock performer, accompanying herself on guitar. Shortly after graduating from Wesleyan University, Synia moved to New York where her smooth, clear vocals were soon recognized, leading to session work with a number of performing and recording artists including Curtis Hairston, Lewis Caisson, Cookie Watkins, jazz harmonica player Will Galison and trombonist Henry Mitchell. It was vibraphonist Jay Hoggard who first encouraged Synia to step forward to pursue a career as a lead vocalist.
Synia’s career transitioned to “Soca Music” also known as the soul of calypso, where she worked for a number of years with groups lead by Bernard Liburd, Designer, and Lord Nelson. In 1984 Synia joined Mikata, an African/Caribbean Funk ensemble, where she became a lead singer and contributing song writer. From their first gig at Sounds of Brazil the band performed regularly in many New York clubs including Heart Break’s, Irving Plaza, Danceteria, and the Pyramid Club. They also appeared at numerous colleges and festivals around the country and in Canada and Japan.
After a nine year association with Mikata, Synia refocused her energy to raising her two children and to beginning a professional teaching career in Connecticut. While singing was placed on the back burner during this stage of Synia’s life, she still performed occasionally with local Pop, Rock, and R&B groups. In recent years Synia has performed with Sal d’Alessandro and reconnected with fellow Mikata player Mychael Ross.
In 2008 Synia developed an interest in jazz when she began her association with the Brian Butler Group performing in Connecticut. It was here that Synia really discovered her love for jazz standards and great artists like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and Sarah Vaughn. Other influences include Lizz Wright, Dianne Reeves, and Phyllis Hyman.
Synia relocated to Sarasota in 2014 with the intention of connecting with the rich Sarasota, Suncoast jazz scene. Since arriving she has found that Sarasota’s great musicians and vocalists are the most welcoming and generous she has ever known. Synia recently commented that, “Here in Sarasota it’s not only ‘all about the bass,’ but truly all about the music.”