Virtuosic and playful, pianist Cyrus Chestnut’s hard swinging, soulful sounds 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.
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. 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 has led him to be a first call for the piano chair in big bands including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra. A prolific recording artist, Chestnut has released 19 albums as a bandleader including his most recent, 2017’s There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit.