“I like to construct melodies that tell stories, based on what I’ve seen, what I feel and what I hear,” Chestnut explains. “If I can connect to what I’m playing, then I’ll be able to share it. That’s why you may think that some of what I do seems simple, but when you get into it, it’s not as simple as you think.” — Cyrus Chestnut
Pianist Cyrus Chestnut appeals to both aficionados and fans alike. Adept enough to perform with Wynton Marsalis, yet hip enough to make the “Peanuts” album swing. Chestnut worked with a number of top-notch musicians including Jon Hendricks, Betty Carter, Terence Blanchard, and Donald Harrison, before recording his first solo CD at the age of 30. Chestnut enjoys mixing styles and resists being typecast in any one niche, though his gospel sound is apparent on a number of his recordings.