Cynthia Girtley is a New Orleans native who has been singing gospel since the age of four. She comes from a family with strong spiritual beliefs and rich musical background. Girtley’s style of gospel singing and piano/organ playing was highly influenced at a very early age by listening to recordings of the late Mahalia Jackson accompanied by Ms. Mildred Falls.
After high school Girtley attended Xavier University on a full term music scholarship. Throughout high school and college she continued singing, playing the piano/organ and directing choirs for many churches throughout the New Orleans Metro Area. After moving to Washington DC she performed and served as Minister of Music in various churches and denominations throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia. During her career Girtley has performed in Europe and toured Brazil singing gospel. Girtley has appeared at major festivals and concert venues, such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Global African Festival in Dallas, the Cincinnati Festival in Ohio, the Bourbon Street Festival in Brazil and she performed at the 2013 Super Bowl Celebration. She has also had the opportunity to work, perform and record with New Orleanian jazz historian and world renowned clarinetist Dr. Michael White.
In May of 2011 and in honor of the greatest gospel singer ever known Girtley produced and released her debut CD entitled “A New Orleans Tribute to Mahalia Jackson.” The following year she released another stellar CD, “It’s In My Heart. “While contemporary, hip-hop and gospel rap seems to be more prevalent today, Girtley is one of only a few to continue the style of such pioneers as the late Thomas Dorsey, Mahalia Jackson and Mildred Falls by carrying the torch and performing traditional gospel music.