Virtuosic and playful, pianist Cyrus Chestnut creates the hard-swinging, soulful sounds that have become a staple in the jazz community. Blending contemporary jazz, traditional jazz, and gospel, plus the occasional seasonings of Latin and samba, Chestnut gives himself plenty of freedom to explore different emotions, while keeping his music in recognizable form. Add to that his apparent ease on the piano, and you’ve got a musician who really does know how to put a smile on your face.
His “lush chords, playful grace notes, worshipful tremolos and effortless runs up and down the 88s” are sure to impress, but it is his warm demeanor and irresistible sweetness that make him “one of jazz’s most beloved ambassadors.”
Chestnut has played with many leaders in the music scene, including Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea, Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks, and Betty Carter, recording and performing live around the world.
An extremely versatile pianist, Chestnut has also collaborated with Vanessa Williams, Brian McKnight, Kathleen Battle, Freddy Cole, Bette Midler, Jimmy Scott, Isaac Hayes, and Kevin Mahogany. His leadership and prowess as a soloist have led him to have first call on the piano chair in big bands, including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra.
His brand of crisp articulation and blues-inflected harmony evokes another era . . . multifaceted and dynamic. . . . Mr. Chestnut was the evening’s star and he brought charisma to the role.
—New York Times
Pianist Cyrus Chestnut can do it all. Equally adept playing with trios, groups, or alone, he tackles a broad range of styles with both taste and intelligence.