Cyrus Chestnut

Courtesy of the artist

"I don't believe America was founded to be one dimensional," pianist Cyrus Chestnut asserts. "It's various different people coming together, quote unquote, to develop something hip."

Chestnut is referring, in part, to a conversation between jazz, gospel and classical music that has been ongoing for well over a century. But he's also describing Carry Me Home,his decade-long collaboration with the Turtle Island Quartet, the subject of this episode of Jazz Night in America.

Courtesy of the artist

Pianist Cyrus Chestnut recently brought some holiday cheer to Afternoon Jazz.

Chestnut’s new album, Kaleidoscope, is a departure from what he is known for: jazz tinged with blues, soul and gospel. Although those elements are there, he goes back to his classical roots. The album, released on HighNote Records, features his trio with bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Chris Beck.

abyssinian.org

Cyrus Chestnut wrote 'Saga of the Cross' only a few months back, a new composition to be performed with The Abyssinian Baptist Church Choir in Harlem.

“I teach at Howard University in Washington, DC of which there’s a great music program.  What stands out from the program is this vocal jazz group called ‘Afro Blue’ under the direction of Connaitre Miller.  So I’ve been hearing around the vocalists and hearing all of these vocal arrangements and all.  So it’s kind of gotten planted in the ear,” Chestnut said.