February 6, 1998

Cyrus Chestnut Trio to Appear at the Middlebury College Center for the Arts

"Â…the 33-year old reveals an orchestral command of the keyboard and a sophisticated sense of swing. And Chestnut is possessed by a spirit of joy." --David Grogran, "People"

The Cyrus Chestnut Trio-featuring Cyrus Chestnut on piano, Steve Kirby on bass, and Alvester Garnett on drums-will perform in the Concert Hall at the Middlebury College Center for the Arts on Saturday, February 14 at 8 p.m.

A star on the modern jazz scene, Cyrus Chestnut began his professional career working with Jon Hendricks from 1986-1988, Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison from 1988-90, and Wynton Marsalis in 1991. After a two-year tenure with jazz legend Betty Carter, Chestnut actively launched his career as a leader with "Revelation," his 1994 Atlantic Jazz debut.

Since then, Chestnut has recorded three more albums with Atlantic Jazz, including "Earth Stories," which prompted the Philadelphia Inquirer to declare, "Chestnut can find more joy in a single note than most pianists do with huge handfuls of harmony."

Chestnut's love of music began when he was a child attending the Mt. Calgary Baptist Church in Baltimore, where he played the piano at age seven and the organ at nine. Chestnut later took his artistic enthusiasm to the Peabody Preparatory Institute and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1985 with a degree in jazz composition and arranging.

Even as he shapes his own musical profile, Chestnut has continued to pursue a number of outside projects, including his contributions to opera singer Kathleen Battle's 1995 album, "So Many Stars," which marked the first time he had recorded with a classical artist. Chestnut also worked on the soundtrack to director Robert Altman's film "Kansas City," in which the jazz musician portrays a Count Basie-inspired pianist.

Tickets for this Concert Series performance are $9.00 general admission and $7.00 for senior citizens. A pre-performance dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Rehearsals Cafe in the Center for the Arts is also available. To order tickets or make dinner reservations, please call the College box office at 802-443-6433.