From the Publisher
multimedia with a conscience Published quarterly by Conscience Media Productions copyright 2007 Vol. 2 issue 4 Columbus, OH 614.453.2034 vo 614.455.0824 fx firstname.lastname@example.org www.theconsciousvoice.com Send letters to the Editor to email@example.com
Welcome to the Fall 2007 edition and launch The Conscious Voice Magazine. As you can see, we’ve made some upgrades; we’ve changed our name and broadened our scope. As we expand into markets outside of central Ohio, we sought a name that more accurately reflects the type of content that we endeavor to produce. Since The Conscious Voice was the name of our radio magazine which aired during 2004, we thought it was very befitting of our print publication. The word conscious means to be cognizant, aware, mentally perceptive and mindful. And that is exactly the type of journalism that we are striving to produce between these pages and online at www.theconsciousvoice.com. The Variations that you have grown to love, continues as an online magazine at www.variationsonline.com. Log on the find out the latest in urban news, music and culture. There will, however, be a special edition, print issue of V. Stay tuned! On another note, we hope you enjoy our very first Style issue. I have been a fashion connoisseur, ever since my mother taught me to sew when I was 12 years old. So, I’ve been thumbing through fashion magazines and pattern books for some time now. What I have not found, though, is a lot of variety. So when I set out to do a style issue, I wanted to include pictures and stories that celebrated women of all ages, sizes and hues. Twenty-one doesn’t last forever and everyone can’t be a size 6. But that doesn’t mean that everyone can’t be stylish. My personal style icons: Princess Diana, Lena Horne and Oprah Winfrey. I admire these ladies and their fashion choices for very different reasons. But the common thread is spirit in which these women carried themselves. The simple reason is that they always looked like ladies. I guess that has a lot to do with how I was raised. When my mother would help me to craft my own clothes, she constantly admonished me that ‘a well-dressed woman never shows her knees.’ Enjoy!
Janel L. Perry
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Some of my "Style" icons. Ladies Lena, Diana and Oprah. Who's style do you admire? firstname.lastname@example.org
On The Cover Dominick Labino (American, 1910*1987), Vitrana. Mural composed of 33 glass panels supported by a steel framework, 1970. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Dominick Labino, 1970.449 The mural is from GlassWear, a major exhibition of more than 130 works of contemporary art celebrating the union of glass and jewelry, on view at the Toledo .Museum of Art Glass Pavilion, through January 31, 2008 Male model, photographed by Stephanie Matthews, wearing fine jewelry from the collection of Y Sadiq Diamond. A model, dressed for winter. Wedding day photo of the new Mr. and Mrs. Ocie Logan from the feature story, A Daddy's Girl Gets Married. Congratulations Dee and Ocie!
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Fashion Career Focus
From intern to editor, Zoe Washington's fashion career has taken her from Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire and Vogue Magazines to The Oprah Winfrey Show to Essence Magazine where she currently serves as fashion market editor.
Fashion Market Editor
Baltimore, Maryland native, Zoe Washington always knew what she wanted to do. She had a childhood love for fashion and by the time she was in sixth grade, she was watching the styles of Elsa Clinch and reading Vogue and Essence Magazines with her grandmother. “I loved fashion; the pace of it all, and the creativity,” she said. “I also loved to draw, I loved art and I loved business. So doing fashion just made sense.” While still in high school, Washington got the opportunity that would set the course of her career. She spent three weeks in New York, working for Cosmopolitan Magazine through an independent senior project. “I loved it and wanted to be in New York for school,” she said. “So I continued to intern there throughout school; then I interned at Marie Claire where I started working with stylists. The more you work in fashion, the more you love it. I love meeting new people. So it was just a great fit.” After graduating from college, Washington went to work as a fashion assistant for a small start up magazine called Shop Etc. The magazine provided insight into the business and industry of fashion. Then came Vogue, The Oprah Winfrey Show and Essence. “Because I’ve been in so many different places,“she said.” know a good environment, as soon as I step into it. Essence is so warm. Everyone there is like family - and it’s not like a cliché; we work together, sometimes pulling 12 hours days because we are such a small staff compared to many major titles.” As fashion market editor, Washington serves as the ‘taste guardian’ for the fashion pages and cover. She brings in clothes to be styled and edited by the director. Her job also requires her to attend fashion shows and decipher trends. During market week, she reacquaints herself with the trends and looks at the clothes up close, to determine fabric and craftsmanship. “That’s when you figure out this is a great brand,” she said, “because everything looks good on the runway." Then Washington conducts an investigation of the clothes at every price point, from Issac Mizrahi to H&M to Prada. Her director gives the story idea and she goes with it. “She’ll have a direction,” she said. "If we want to talk about metallics, I comb the market and get in the best metallic pieces possible.” This process, she said, is a rat race. “What most people don’t realize, is that the same actual garment that you see in Essence, is also in Vogue; so there’s a lot of schlepping and trafficking of those samples and negotiating as an editor.” Then the cycle starts all over again for the next season. Washington’s words to anyone interested in fashion: “Don’t be afraid of hard work.” To hear more from our interview with Zoe Washington and see more runway looks, visit our website and click on Podcast.
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Simple to Elegant Models walked the runway in clothes by Macy's during two different fashion shows. One, held at Macy's Easton, and co-hosted by Essence Magazine, featured looks from the International Concepts line. The other, was held at Worthington Hills Country Club for the Fashion Group International's "Cocktails and Catwalk" Scholarship Event. Outerwear supplied by Macy's Fine Furs at Tuttle Crossing.
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Bishop Timothy Clarke shares a special moment with his eldest daughter, Dee before the ceremony.
A Daddy's Girl gets Married
by Janel L. Perry
ionesha Clarke and Ocie Logan discovered that they had found their soul mates in each other. And on September 22, they made it official, in a grand way. The venue for the celebration was Columbus, Ohio’s 5,000-member, First Church of God, where Dionesha’s father, Bishop Timothy Clarke, serves as pastor. The ceremony was more like a love story, delicately weaved through videos, pictures and words - not just about a bride and a groom, but also about a father and a daughter. Dionesha, affectingly known as Dee, is a Daddy’s Girl. Even her mother, First Lady, Clytemnestra Lawson Clarke talks about the bond between her husband and his eldest daughter. So on the eve of the ceremony, Bishop Clarke, who was set to help officiate the ceremony, was filled with emotion. “It’s a great day for her because she is marrying a young man that I know loves her,” he said. “I know he is going to be good to her and take great care of her. So on that point I am happy. But on the other point, she is my eldest daughter. All the emotions of that - are there; so it is a bittersweet moment.” Bishop Clarke also joked about having fun making Ocie’s life miserable and having a lot of his brothers present. “If I fall apart, they can step in and we won’t miss a beat,” he laughed. There was a special video presentation; a pictorial, put together by Dee, to commemorate her years as a Daddy’s girl. Bishop Clarke reminisced about the day his daughter was born. “I didn’t know something so beautiful could come from me,” he said. The couple has two daughters; Joscelyn Clarke served as her sister’s maid of honor. First Lady Clarke also talked about being filled with a sense of pride over her daughter’s execution of the wedding details. “Dee’s very organized,” she said. “She knows what she wants and she puts it in action.”
Ocie Logan met his bride-to-be at a beauty salon. He said Dee caught his eye because of the way she carried herself - 'like a woman should,' he said. Want to see more of the wedding? Visit our website and click on "podcast" for more wedding pictures and Bishop Clarkes's charge to couples.
Wedding Dress Dress:: Wendy's Bridal of Cincinnati Bridesmaids: Girl's in White Dresses Gr oom and Gr oomsmen: Jim's Tuxedo Groom Groomsmen: Cake: Cake Dot's Wedding Cakes Flo wer s: Memory Lane by Tara Flow ers: Photography: Banks Photography Caterer: Nancy Jones Consultant: Dorothy Malone Daniel Videography: Draw Productions
The Clarke Logan wedding was also a spiritual affair, attended by a host of clergy. Rev. Joshua C. Kelly, Executive Pastor of First Church of God, Pastor Vaughn Bell of Triumphant Church, Bishop H. Eugene Bellinger of Cathedral of the Covenant, Dr. Keith A. Troy, of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Rev. Reggie Moore of Flintridge Baptist Church, Dr. Victor Davis of Trinity Baptist Church, Bishop Jerome H. Ross of Triedstone Missionary Baptist Church, Dr. Thomas Scott of 34th Street Church of God, Tampa FL and Dr. Michael A. Smith of Community Church of God, Atlanta, GA joined Bishop Clarke and Dr. Charles Booth in a special prayer of consecration over the bride and groom.
The Details Dee and Ocie settled on chocolate and champagne as the bridal party colors and diamonds as the theme. So floral decorator, Tara Cecil of Memory Lane Wedding Florists, carried this theme throughout her decorations, but added vibrancy and color with flowers flown in from around the world. The decorations, which included a hand-painted Houppa, a flower tree, isle arrangements and bouquets were all filled with Cymbidium Orchids from Holland, red Roses from Ecuador and purple Lisianthus from California. Added touches included Swarovski crystals, tassels, hanging jewels and glass gems. The private wedding reception was held in the Jubilee Church Sanctuary of the Bowman Gaddis Family Life Center at First Church. The wedding decorations pulled double duty. Flowers from the isle became the centerpieces for reception tables; the houppa became the reception head piece and fresh flowers were added to the cake. Chocolate and champagne fabrics transformed the chairs and hall into a elegant atmosphere for fellowship and fine dining. Family, clergy and close friends feasted on a full sit down dinner that included baked salmon, prime rib, potatoes and fresh green beans, salad, fresh rolls and light lemon punch, prepared by Rev. Nancy Jones. Officiants: Bishop Clarke and Dr. E. Charles Booth.
Global Fashion in Columbus
by Amberly Diebel Autumn is here bringing with it cooler weather, but don’t let falling temperatures put a damper on your wardrobe! Columbus boutiques are full of unique fashion and accessories sure to give your closet the pick-me-up it needs. These shops offer individual style and personalized attention without having to travel the world to find it. No need to stop there. Spread the boutique love this holiday season and grab friends and family oneof-a-kind gifts.
A Designer's TTouc ouc h ouch
Michelle Wolievach, pictured here in her in her Grandview Boutique, specializes in helping women Emperors Newest Clothes find clothes that 1439 Ida Ave, Grandview are stylish and affordable, like this Michelle Wolievach has filled her Grandview store with creative clothing for women of all ages. Emperors Newest fushcia wool jacket Clothes carries stylish outfits that won’t break the bank. with coordinating skirt and the above Wolievach buys for her store in New York and Los Angeles purple and grey and brings back an eclectic selection of fashion ranging ensemble.
from trendy items to classic pieces. “When you buy something in my store,” she said, “it’s something you can wear for several years.” Wolievach is passionate about fashion, and women who shop her store will find an individual style in a comfortable atmosphere. Because she only picks up a few sizes of each style, it’s the perfect spot for a unique purchase. Wolievach recently opened a second location at 636 N. High Street. It features all new items not found in the Grandview store. Unique gift idea: Clutches found in plaid with perfect little bows or in shiny metallic fabrics, $25.-55. Substance for Fashion Conscious People 783 N. High St., Short North Substance carries a mix of classy comfortable clothing and handcrafted jewelry perfect for any occasion. Savvy shoppers can find unique fashion made of natural fibers and recycled materials. This upscale boutique offers a great selection of fashion forward coats, dresses, trousers and handbags from New York, Los Angeles, and Europe. Unlike other boutiques in the area, Substance designs a private collection called Fashion Conscious People, which is sold in store and online. Each month, they unveil a new design made of deconstructed overstock. The next unveiling is November 29. Owner Christina Gatchew wanted her shop to hold a higher philosophy than just selling clothes. “Where there is style there should also be substance,” she said. Every quarter Gatchew donates a portion of the store’s profit to educational charities. Unique gift idea: Thai hand-woven cotton scarves by Nosantra, or their comfy and versatile three button wrap by Pure; available in several rich colors, $20.-80. Tigertree 17 Brickel St, Short North Nestled in an ally in the heart of the Short North lies Tigertree, a west coast inspired clothing and accessory store for men and women. Newlyweds Josh and Nikki Quinn opened Tigertree six months ago after moving back from the Los Angeles area. “Most of our lines are from the west coast because we were in that environment for so long,”Nikki said. They carry an assortment of ecofriendly and sweat-shop free fashion in many laid back styles. In this shop you will find soft organic cotton dresses, and adorable screen printed tees perfect for relaxing in on the weekend. Accessories include Ohio shaped silver necklaces, and hand made belt buckles made of story book pages set in acrylic and wallets made of wood laminate flooring.
High Style characterizes these jackets and handbags found at Substance. Here, fashion trendsetters can find classic looks like this houndstooth three quarter jacket or trendy looks like the denim and wool jacket above.
Unique gift ideas from Tigertree inlude these change purses, individually handmade from old leatherbound children’s books and lined in vintage fabric and these popular leaf pendants hand-dipped in gold and silver. Prices range from $35-55.
Katie Hixon is the owner of Katie Hixon Interiors, Inc., a full service interior design firm, located at 5061 Morse Road, Gahanna, OH 43230. You can reach her and her team of designers at 614.855.3800. Visit them online at www.katiehixoninteriors.com.
MAMA'S SWEET PO TATO PIE POT Ingredients 1 (15-oz.) pkg. refrigerated pie crusts 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 lb.), peeled and cut into chunks 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
"When I was in college, my mother would always try to make my visit home special by surprising me with sweet potato pie. This recipe was handed down from my mother’s great grandmother, Queen White, so it has been in our family for five generations." - Lifestyle expert and restaurant owner, B. Smith's home collection, B. Smith with Style Home is available exclusively at Bed Bath & Beyond stores.
Christmas is a time for bringing friends and family together to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus. It is also the time that we make our homes and offices glow with the warmth of Christmas décor. There are many different themes connected to Christmas decorating. Whether you are traditional, country style, or chic contemporary, there are several ways to incorporate your style into the holiday décor. Look for unexpected places to add holiday punch. Using wide floral ribbon, large floppy bows around Clearing thetie Forest by Aminah Robinson the backs of your diningBrenda chairs.Lynn The color of the ribbon should blend with the color scheme of your room or go metallic with gold, silver or copper. You can add garland with tiny white lights to your drapery poles or on the top of cornices or top treatments. I have added large silk poinsettias on either corner of my cornices in my living and dining rooms. After the holidays, I box them up for next year. If you have live houseplants, add Christmas silk florals to them by using floral wire or simply stick them into the dirt. Another easy, but beautiful effect is to use a string of white lights nestled into silk or dried baby’s breath. This can be in just about any container, a basket, floral pot, or glass bowl. The look is both warm and elegant. Look to nature for help with your holiday décor. Cutting boughs of evergreens, not only adds instant warmth to your room, but also scents the room with that wonderful aroma. Don’t forget to keep them moist, so there is no fire hazard. Spray interesting shaped leaves in shiny metallics, toss in some red berry branches and small Christmas ornaments and you have a centerpiece or a garland for above a door. Candles are a favorite thing to use during Christmas. Enrouteintocandlelight, Abroad by Absku Everyone looks better so use them to make an ordinary evening meal special. Don’t forget holiday dinnerware and glassware. It does not have to be expensive, but should reflect your personality. Add some Christmas punch to your cloth napkins by making your own napkin rings, using small poinsettias tied with ribbon or strings of pearl roping tied in a loose knot. The important thing is to relax and enjoy the holidays with your friends and family and to remember the true meaning of Christmas. Have a very Merry & Joyous Christmas!
1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk 1 stick butter, melted and cooled 2 large eggs 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions 1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Fit crusts into 2 (8-inch) pie plates. 2. Place sweet potatoes in large saucepan; cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender; drain and mash. Measure 3 cups mashed sweet potato and spoon into medium bowl. 3. Add sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, condensed milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla to potatoes; whisk until mixture is smooth. Pour evenly into crusts. 4. Bake until edges of filling are set and center is soft, 28 to 30 minutes. Cover edges of crust with foil to prevent overbrowning, if necessary. Cool on wire rack. Makes 2 (8-inch) pies
Claude Monet, The Artist’s Garden at Giverny, 1900, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France
The Essence of W oman Woman featuring the artwork of EVAN NABRIT NABRIT,, now on view at the Kiaca Gallery until December 24, 2007.
KIACA GALLERY 937 North High St. Columbus, Ohio 43201 Tickets avaialable through Ticketmaster, CAPA and MLK Box Office, Kroger Stores, T Jazz Fashions. Charge by phone: 614.431.3600 Info. For more info. VIP/Group rates 614.805.1376
Gospel Musical Production set to kick holiday season at The King Arts Complex The King Arts Complex and Nia Performing Arts Production Company Inc. proudly announce the opening of “Black Nativity,” a holiday musical by Langston Hughes, November 29, 30 at 7PM, December 1 at 2:30PM and 7PM and December 2 at 5PM. This highly anticipated spectacular production has kicked off the holiday season on The King Arts Complex Pythian Theater stage. Over the years, patrons have witnessed many incarnations of the production which celebrates the story of the birth of Christ as told through the lens of African American Gospel music. The 2007 production, set in the present, preserves the intent of the very first show in 1987, by bringing together the African American Gospel tradition with traditional community values as it celebrates the bonds of family and the power of faith through story, song and dance. A soul-stirring, roof shaking one act with exciting musical performances and powerful dance, including old favorites such as, “Mary, Mary Whatcha Gonna Name That Pretty Little Baby,” “Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night,” and added this year, “Lift Him Up,” “Jesus, What a Wonderful Child,” and “Encourage Yourself.” The performance features live music by awardwinning musicians, original dance performances choreographed by Rick Moore, with some special effects for one of the perennial favorites “Follow the Star” and a stellar gospel ensemble directed by Mr. Garey Lewis. Featured vocalists include: Rashon Bowman, Ledia Brown, Nancy “the Queen” Burton, Rebecca Hairston, Ronald Hairston, Jamaar Johnson and Jalen Washington . The fifty member cast includes individuals between the ages of 1 month to sixty years plus. Some of the cast members have been performing “Black Nativity” for more than six years with Nia Performing Arts Company Inc. Tickets are available at The King Arts Complex box office or at all Ticketmaster outlets.
Faith Bob Proctor to speak in Columbus Nov. 28 Bob Proctor, preacher of the gospel of positive thinking, will speak at the Veterans Memorial on November 28, 2007 at 6:30 PM. Proctor, a teacher from the best-selling movie “The Secret” is an internationally acclaimed author, lecturer, counselor, business consultant and entrepreneur. He has appeared on Larry King Live, The Ellen DeGeneres Show and CBS, NBC and ABC, promoting his practical message on using the Law of Attraction to set and achieve life goals. Proctors extraordinary teaching ability has won him acclaim around the globe and has carried the Canadian-born motivator to the far reaches of the earth. He is as well known in Australia and Malaysia as he is in Alberta and Mississippi. Tickets are now on sale through Ticket master.
CD Release Party R&B, Pop, and Gospel songstress Natalia Chase, recently released her first project, “Steady Like the Rain,” with Marko Records. Chase, a Columbus, native, was a finalist on the FOX 28/ABC 6 reality show, Gimme the Mike. She has also appeared on Good Day Columbus with Jonny DiLoretto and on the Dino & Stacy Morning show on Sunny 95. As an inspired writer, Chase has penned songs spanning three genres. Her heartfelt expressions have become a familiar sound to many. The release party for “Steady Like the Rain,” is free and open to the public. The festivities will be held November 30 at 7 PM at Redeemer’s on Courtright at 1850 Courtright Road. Visit www.theconsciousvoice.com for more information and sample clips from the new project.
Our Availability for the Next Play
The Conscious Voice Magazine, along with The WORD Network is seeking "The Best Message of 2007." All preachers, teachers and pastors are invited to submit your 2007 message, to be judged by an independent panel of judges for the crown of "The Best Message of 2007." Visit our website for details and guidelines or call. 614.453.2034
By E. Anthony Preston New Salem Missionary Baptist Church Scriptural Reference:II Corinthians 4: 8-9
I love sports! But my church involvement on Sunday limits me from watching more of my favorite – football. Now while this might sound like a complaint, it really isn’t. Truly, the best sight for me on Sundays is generally witnessing great numbers of souls walking down the aisle after being saved. During that time, as much as I love football, it is simply “out there on the horizon.” But I am just thankful that my full and tiring schedule still affords me to see enough “second half action” on Sundays and a great deal of “first half action” on Monday nights. While recently watching another team spank my beloved Cleveland Browns, the Holy Ghost was able to mine a “sound theological nugget” I could share with The Conscious Voice readership. Oddly enough, it happened when an opposing player spiked the ball after scoring “one too many touchdowns.” While I had seen this flamboyant demonstration many, many times (especially against the Browns), this day gave a new perspective. Let me hit the “rewind button” so you too can appreciate the illumination. “The opposing quarterback lofted the football some forty feet down the field. In so doing, he ‘threads the needle’ and the ’cooperative ball’ spiraled beautifully over the heads of two of my good friends wearing bright orange helmets and into the taut and outstretched arms of a player I did not like very much at the time. The ‘unpopular player’ grabbed the ball and sauntered into the end zone virtually untouched. He then took the ‘cooperative ball’ and slammed it hard into the turf as other ‘unliked players’ gathered excitedly around him.” In case you missed it, the essence of the inspiration was neither the play itself nor even the celebratory players. It was anchored in the “cooperative ball.” You see warriors, the ball did every thing that it was designed to do. It stayed inflated, it floated and it spiraled. Because it “willfully completed” its mission, it was delivered to its intended target. It did not make a “pigskin decision” and fall some “twenty yards short of upsetting me.” Nor did it get in close proximity to the “unpopular player” and then take it upon itself to make a 90-degree right turn into the stadium crowd. It “cooperated fully” and was in turn “rewarded” by being spiked hard into the turf. This brothers and sisters is indicative of the unique flavor of biblical persecution. While this is undoubtedly a slice of history for members of African-American churches, it unfortunately looms as a threat to our future days as well. Yes, much of this is true simply because “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble (Job 14:2).” But most of us will acknowledge that alongside that generic truth is the reality of African-American truth – “double trouble.” Despite claims to the contrary, impotent affirmative action initiatives have not catapulted many blacks to the top of the industrial and economic world. We are still, more often than not, “the last hired and the first fired.” We are still the victims of institutional redlining, police brutality, housing discrimination and denials of all sorts. Our children are still “mislabeled” and treated poorly in the majority of America’s schools. Many city and state officials still turn their heads in the opposite direction as predominantly black neighborhoods are overrun with drugs, prostitution and destructive activity. And you say you are not going to bother to vote??? While you know I could have continued the litany of offenses against us, this message is intended to focus on the resilience of our ethnicity instead. As many times as I have seen the football spiked, not once was it flattened and rendered useless. It always remained “available for the next play.” That too must be a part of our testimony both as individuals and as a race of people. Black congregants have always felt the Apostle Paul’s words when he exclaimed, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.” No faith community is quite like the African-American church. We are some of the most holy, loyal, spirited and faithful saints anywhere on the globe. It is noteworthy that we have established this image in the midst of being victimized by some of the most inhumane treatment ever. But on the “playing fields of this life,” we are not promised good weather or kind players. Yet, in spite of the “trials and tribulations” of our sojourn, there is one thing we must promise God and each other – “our availability for the next play.”
Jazz Pianist Cyrus Chestnut to play Southern Theatre Event celebrates 100 years for Mt. Olivet Church Cyrus Chestnut is an American master. Pianist, songwriter, producer and band leader, Chestnut, was born into a musical family. His father was the church organist and his mother, the church choir director. At three years old, he began tooling the piano with his father. By the age of 5, he was receiving private piano instruction and by 6, was playing piano at his home church, Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Baltimore. Chestnut entered the Peabody Institute to study classical music at 9 years old. He also developed his musical tastes at an early age. “I loved Charlie Brown cartoons and the music of Vince Guaraldi,” (Peanuts composer) he said. “I went to a five and dime store and picked up a picture of a man playing the piano. It was Thelonius Monk. I had no idea who he was, but I took it home and started listening to it - and here I am - many years later.” Chestnut went on to attend Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music, earning a degree in jazz composition and arranging. While at Berklee, he received numerous awards: the Eubie Blake Fellowship, the Quincy Jones Scholarship, and the Oscar Peterson Scholarship. Chestnut began to tour as a pianist for big names like Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard and Wynton Marsalis. While on tour, it was the other artists who challenged him. He remembers being in Europe with Terance Blanchard and Donald Harris. “I wasn’t feeling too well” he said. “So I was doing the minimum, just to get through it. Terrance pulled me aside and said ‘to have the opportunity to play music is a privilege, you shouldn’t waste this privilege.’” Chestnut learned to press past his feelings and perform at peak level, regardless of the circumstance.
National Public Radio called Jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut, "one of the top pianists of this generation." TIME Magazine called "him the best of jazz pianist of his generation - because of his ability to mix styles and abandon notes.
His association with Betty Carter, which began in 1991, also affected his outlook and approach to music. Carter advised him to ‘take chances’ and ‘play things never heard before.’ In 1991, Chestnut released his first album, “There’s a Brighter Day Coming,” followed by “The Nutman Speaks,” “The Nutman Speaks Again,” “Nut” and “Another Direction.”
Singing with The Angels Featuring Cyrus Chestnut 100th Anniversary Christmas Gala Dec.14,2007 8PM Southern Theatre, Columbus Tickets on sale at Ticketmaster $75 general admission
$100 V.I.P. admission
Benefits the Mt. Olivet Family Life Center In 1993, at the age of 30, Chestnut signed with Atlantic Records and released the critically-acclaimed “Revelation,” followed by “The Dark Before The Dawn.” It debuted at number six on the Billboard Jazz Charts. In 1995 there was “Earth Stories” and then “Cyrus Chestnut” in 1998. Chestnut has also performed and/or recorded with, Freddy Cole, Bette Midler, Jon Hendricks, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Scott, Chick Corea, Isaac Hayes, Kevin Mahogany, Dizzy Gillespie, and opera diva Kathleen Battle, most notably on the Sony Classical recording “So Many Stars.” Since Chestnut and Battle
PODCAST How does Cyrus Chestnut interpret Elvis? Visit www.theconsciousvoice.com to find out! Click on PODCAST for interviews and music.
both had roots in church, they had incredible chemistry. So much so, that Chestnut joined the star soprano on a 1996 Fall U.S. Tour. Later that same year, came “Blessed Quietness: A Collection of Hymns, Spirituals and Carols” a deeply spiritual album of traditional numbers infused with the gospel and blues Chestnut grew up listening to. In addition to appearing on the soundtrack to director Robert Altman’s 1996 feature film “Kansas City,”Chestnut also made his big screen debut portraying a Count Basie-inspired pianist. In 2000, Chestnut collaborated with Vanessa L. Williams, Brian McKnight, The Manhattan Transfer and The Boys’ Choir of Harlem on “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” In 2001, he released “Soul Food” featuring bassist Christian McBride, drummer Lewis Nash and special guest soloists including James Carter, Stefon Harris, Wycliffe Gordon and Marcus Printup. This acclaimed album was included in Down Beat’s list of the best records of 2002 and ascended to “Top 10” on the Jazz Charts. Chestnut continually tours with his trio, playing live at jazz festivals around the world as well as clubs and concert halls. His leadership and prowess as a soloist has also led him to be a first call for the piano chair in many big bands including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band, and Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra. In 2006, Chestnut released his first album “Genuine Chestnut” on TelArc Records. On it, he is accompanied by his regular trio which includes Michael Hawkins, bass and Neal Smith, drums. Chestnut’s own “Mason Dixon Line” is one of the album’s high points. “Cyrus Plays Elvis” is Chestnut’s latest release. On this 2007 project, he reinterprets some of the icons greatest numbers like “Love Me Tender,” “Hound Dog,” Heartbreak Hotel” and “How Great Thou Art.” National Public Radio said the project provided ‘a fresh outlook on Presley.' Chestnut said he has a definite connection with the artist who loved blues and Gospel to the same degree that Chestnut himself loves those genres. Yet Chestnut has a greater mission for his projects and live performances. “I like to send people away feeling better than they did when they arrived,” he said. “For me – that’s my true pay. When you are able to get through to the spirit of a person and make an impact on someone’s life.”