Cyrus Chestnut Trio

Feb 20-21

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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.

His “lush chords, playful grace notes, worshipful tremolos and effortless runs up and down the 88s” are sure to impress, but it’s 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 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.

So far, 2014 has seen several great accomplishments for Cyrus. This July he released his first live album, Midnight Melodies, recorded at the legendary Smoke Jazz Club, and joined by bassist Curtis Lundy and drummer Victor Lewis, two veterans of the John Hicks Trio. Together they take listeners on a musical odyssey that includes music by Billy Strayhorn, John Coltrane, and, of course, John Hicks, like the album’s penultimate masterpiece, “Naima’s Love Song.”

Cyrus has also entered a three year recording deal with Highnote Records, with his first release due in early 2015, and, in addition, received a well-deserved invitation to join the educational team of Howard University as their instructor of jazz piano.


"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..."

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Jeremy Davenport
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Jeremy Davenport

Jeremy Davenport infuses a unique style of storytelling with original lyrics and music, creating not only a modern edge, but also a feeling reminiscent of the time when jazz was at its peak of popularity. Davenport, a St. Louis native, studied and played with members and guests of the Symphony, which included an early introduction to Wynton Marsalis. A member of Harry Connick, Jr.’s big band for six years, Davenport now tours the world, plays regularly in New Orleans, and returns home annually for this Thanksgiving tradition at Jazz St. Louis.

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DEC 1
Sound of The Trumpet: an Evan Horne mystery by Bill Moody
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SOUND OF THE TRUMPET: AN EVAN HORNE MYSTERY BY BILL MOODY

Out of print and not available at Left Bank Books

The sound and the fury…

On a dark night in Pennsylvania, a jazz legend met his death.  But now, in the heat and light of Las Vegas, the sound of Clifford Brown’s soaring trumpet is coming back to life.  Because a man named Evan Horne, who knows all about jazz and pain, is unraveling a puzzle that reaches back forty years to Brown’s last hours–and that has already gotten one person killed.

Horne was called to Las Vegas to authenticate some recordings purported to be the lost tapes of Clifford Brown. But when a murder interrupts his listening session, Horne becomes the key player in a dangerous duet.  Carrying a worn old trumpet that may have belonged to Clifford Brown himself, Horne is pursuing the truth behind an audiotape that may be worth a fortune, may be a hoax and may be just one haunting melody in a killer’s murderous obsession. . .

Click here to learn more about Book Club.


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Jazz St. Louis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to lead our community in advancing the uniquely American art of jazz through live performance, education and community engagement.

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