Berklee Today: Cyrus Chestnut '85
It is a bright Saturday morning, and there is a wintry snap in the air as I make my way to the Regattabar in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to meet with Cyrus Chestnut '85. He is halfway through his two-night engagement in town. I caught his first set last night. The place was packed. Cyrus and his trio (featuring drummer Neal Smith and bassist Zachary Pride) turned up the heat in a program that crossed stylistic borders to include jazz standards, Latin-flavored originals, piano solo renditions of a hymn and Grieg's "Hall of the Mountain King," and Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy" theme from Chestnut's new CD, A Charlie Brown Christmas. The combination of his impressive jazz chops, deep blues and gospel roots, and affable stage persona totally charmed the audience.