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Cyrus Chestnut Trio Debut Performance in Replacement of T.S. Monk Sextet at the Kimmel Center Friday, February 22


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Sponsored by The Bank of New York Mellon

Mingus Big Band Shares the Stage to Pay Tribute to Iconic Jazz Master Charles Mingus

“What makes Chestnut the best jazz pianist of his generation is a willingness to abandon notes and play space." -Josh Tyrangiel of TIME magazine, 2006

The Cyrus Chestnut Trio will make its Kimmel Center Presents debut performance in replacement of the T.S. Monk Sextet originally scheduled to perform on Friday, February 22, 2008 at 8pm in the Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall. Due to illness, T.S. Monk has had to cancel his performance with his sextet scheduled for next week. Baltimore native Cyrus Chestnut, one of the foremost jazz pianists of our time, has collaborated with jazz greats Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis and Dizzy Gillespie, among many others, as well as performed in prestigious festivals throughout the world. The trio will interpret the music of Thelonius Monk, while also performing a selection of works from their own catalog; their music lightly hints of gospel influences, full of soulful ingenuity and progressive jazz styling.

Four-time Grammy® nominated Mingus Big Band follows with a special performance of works by renowned bass player and jazz composer Charles Mingus. The 14-piece band brings back Mingus' soulful, lush harmonies and ability to fuse jazz traditions with unexplored realms of avant-garde jazz. John Pareles of The New York Times has said the group has “revived Charles Mingus' repertory and the brawling, muscular, hard-swinging, bluesy way he wanted it played."

“[Mingus Big Band] is digging into the repertoire of Charles Mingus...capturing the best parts of the Mingus legacy: the muscle, the affection for history, the willingness to take chances, the guts and soulfulness."--New York Times

An Artist Chat will take place with Mingus Big Band Artistic Director Sue Mingus and Kimmel Center Vice President of Programming Mervon Mehta in the MERCK Arts Education Center prior to the ticketed performance in Verizon Hall.

This concert is the third concert in the Bank of New York Mellon Jazz Fridays Series scheduled for the Kimmel Center Presents 2007/2008 season. The next concert in the series will be the Wayne Shorter Quartet and the Terell Stafford Quartet on Friday, March 28, 2008 at 8pm in Verizon Hall.

Tickets for the Cyrus Chestnut Trio and the Mingus Big Band are $26, $41, $54, $59 and $69 and can be purchased by calling 215-893-1999, online at, or at the Kimmel Center box office open daily from 10am to 6pm and later on performance evenings. (Additional fees may apply.) For group sales call 215-790-5883.

A limited number of $10 tickets are available for every Kimmel Center Presents performance at the Kimmel Center. Tickets go on sale the day of the event and can be purchased at the Kimmel Center box office beginning 2.5 hours prior to curtain time and 11:30am for matinees. Limit one ticket per person.

Jazz pianist, songwriter and producer Cyrus Chestnut began his illustrious musical career at the age of six, playing piano at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in his hometown of Baltimore. By age nine, he was studying at Peabody Institute. While earning a degree in jazz composition and arranging from Berklee College of Music, Chestnut won several prestigious awards, including the Eubue Blake Fellowship, the Oscar Peterson Scholarship, the Quincy Jones Scholarship and the Basie Award. Throughout his career, Chestnut has collaborated with jazz luminaries such as Donald Harrison, Terence Blanchard, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea, and Dizzy Gillespie. Chestnut followed his debut album, There's a Brighter Day Comin', with more than 10 recordings, including the critically-acclaimed Revelation (1994) and Soul Food (2001) which was included in Down Beat's list of the best records of 2002 and climbed to “Top Ten" on the jazz charts. In addition to performing and recording as a solo artist, Chestnut continually tours with his trio, playing live at jazz festivals around the world as well as clubs and concert halls. The Cyrus Chestnut Trio can be heard on the Warner Brothers Jazz debut, You Are My Sunshine (2003).

The New York City-based Mingus Big Band celebrates the music of composer and bassist Charles Mingus, who died in 1979. Under the artistic direction of Mingus's widow, Sue Mingus, the 14-piece ensemble began performing Thursday nights from 1991 to 2004 at the Fez under Time Caf in New York City. In November 2004, the band began a weekly Tuesday residency at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City. The band has also toured extensively in the United States, and frequently in Europe and abroad. Their debut effort, Nostalgia in Times Square (1993), was followed by seven more albums, four of which have been nominated for Grammy® Awards. The most recent albums, I Am Three (2005) and Live in Tokyo at the Blue Note(2006), each received Grammy® nominations for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

Kimmel Center Presents 2007/2008 season is sponsored by Citi. Support for the Mellon Jazz Series comes from The Bank of New York Mellon. The Great Orchestra Series is supported by ARC Wheeler. Additional support is provided by the University of Pennsylvania Health System and American Express. American Airlines is the Official Airline of Kimmel Center Presents. Toyota is the Official Vehicle of Kimmel Center Presents Mellon Jazz, Mellon Jazz Up Close and World & Pop.

The Kimmel Center also receives support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The William Penn Foundation, The Wachovia Foundation, Verizon Foundation, PNC Foundation, The Philadelphia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and the Philadelphia Music Project and Dance Advance, Initiatives of The Pew Charitable Trust administered by The University of the Arts. In-kind support is generously provided by Deloitte. NBC-10 is a Media Partner for Kimmel Center Presents, and additional media sponsors include WDAS, WRTI, WJJZ, Afro-Pop, WXPN and WXPN's Kids Corner 20th Anniversary.

Free in the Plaza programming and subsidized tickets offered to the community and social service groups for $10 are made possible through the Wachovia Gateway to the Arts Community Access Program, supported by a generous grant from Wachovia Foundation.


Friday, February 22, 2008 | 8pm
Verizon Hall
Bank of New York Mellon Jazz Fridays Series

Cyrus Chestnut Trio

Cyrus Chestnut, piano

Ben Williams, bass

Byron Landham, drums

Mingus Big Band

Lew Soloff, trumpet
Kenny Rampton, trumpet
Earl Gardner, trumpet
Seamus Blake, saxophone
Craig Handy, saxophone
Jaleel Shaw, saxophone
Vincent Herring, saxophone
Jason Marshall, saxophone
Conrad Herwig, trombone
Andy Hunter, trombone
Earl McIntyre, trombone
Donald Edwards, drums
Boris Kozlov, bass
Orrin Evans, piano


Friday, February 22, 2008 | 6:30pm
Merck Arts Education Center
Artist Chat with Sue Mingus
Join us for an Artist Chat with Mingus Big Band Artistic Director Sue Mingus and Kimmel Center Vice President of Programming Mervon Mehta prior to the ticketed Cyrus Chestnut Trio and Mingus Big Band performance in Verizon Hall.

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This story appears courtesy of Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
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