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Being a part of the music community in Minnesota is a gift to every artist, listener and participant. The stage of Vieux Carré is rich with history and whispers of musicians past. Today the tradition continues with a varied schedule highlighting local talents in many different genres with a focus on jazz, soul, blues, and the magic of each. Patrons and artists share the room to commune in the celebration of life and each other.
In Cyrus Chestnut’s hands the piano isn’t so much an instrument as a soul-powered chariot that swings with abandon, carrying listeners along on a joyous ride.
A standout since his student days at Berklee, Chestnut spent formative years accompanying vocalese legend Jon Hendricks, anchoring the quintessential young lion quintet of Terence Blanchard and Donald Harrison, and touring with Wynton Marsalis. But he credits his early 1990s stint in vocal explorer Betty Carter’s band with radically expanding creative vision.
At his most ebullient leading a trio, Chestnut is joined by two superlative masters. Best known for his performance on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew and the sparkplug for Chick Corea’s beloved fusion band Return to Forever, Lenny White has amassed a well-deserved reputation as one of the drumming world’s powerhouses. Bassist Buster Williams is one of jazz most esteemed and versatile collaborators who has contributed to hundreds of albums with everyone from McCoy Tyner and Bobby Hutcherson to Larry Coryell and Nancy Wilson. The trio has developed a beautiful chemistry as evidenced on the pianist’s newest recordings.
“There is something inspired and kinetic about [Chestnut’s] playing with Williams and White, as if they are all three trying to push each other to discover new avenues of expression.” – All Music Guide