REGINALD CYNTJE (born in Roseau, Dominica and raised on St. Thomas, USVI) is a trombonist, educator, producer, and composer. He has created and performed an eclectic range of music. When you listen to Cyntje perform, you hear a passion for life and love in his sound.
Growing up in the US Virgin Islands (USVI), he was steeped in the rich cultural music known as Quelbe (the official music of the USVI). Quelbe was Reginald’s introduction to improvised music.
With cultural heritage at the forefront and social justice as the message, he has “a deep-seated knowledge of Caribbean music and culture which has settled into his jazz trombone playing” (NPR Music).
To date, Cyntje has recorded six albums as a leader. Healing (2020), his latest album, "Lush with complex key changes and conversational attitude" (CapitalBop), combines artistic expression with an awareness of the environment. The healing process is an intimate contemplative endeavor. Recorded on September 18, 2020, at Divine Order Studios, the album features Allyn Johnson on piano and Reginald Cyntje on trombone/compositions.
Rise of the Protester (2019) sonically captures humanity’s need to thrive when faced with adversity. This is his boldest statement on social justice. Rise of the Protester, "Equal parts love and righteous force" (Capitalbop), features tenor saxophonist Brian Settles, drummer Lenny Robinson, bassist Herman Burney, and trombonist/composer/producer Reginald Cyntje.
Social justice is a common theme on Cyntje’s albums. His fourth album focuses on justice within. Spiritual Awakening (2015), featured on NPR’s Jazz Night in America, musically embodies humanity’s complex journey from introspection to a celebration of freedom. The album features vocalist Christie Dashiell, drummer Carroll CV Dashiell III, pianist Allyn Johnson, steel panist Victor Provost, drummer Amin Gumbs, pianist Janelle Gill, tenor saxophonist Brian Settles, and bassist Herman Burney. This album won Cyntje the title of Washington City Paper’s Composer of the Year. Atonement became a fan favorite and Rejoice was selected as one of the top 50 songs of the year by WAMU 88.5's Bandwith. The album made it to the #3 spot on the RMR Top 50 Jazz Chart. Elements of Life, released in 2014 (best DC album of 2014 Washington City Paper), features pianist Allyn Johnson, bassist Herman Burney, drummer Amin Gumbs, vocalist Christie Dashiell, steel panist Victor Provost, and saxophonist Brian Settles. The album explores the connection between the human being and the elements that nurture us.
In 2013, Cyntje released his sophomore album, simply titled Love. The Washington City Paper said Love “is thoughtful and surpassingly gorgeous.” After debuting at #3 on the CMJ Jazz chart, Love made it to #10 on the CMJ Top 40 Jazz Chart. The album is a tribute to the human spirit.