Internationally-Renowned Jazz Pianist Featured for MBU’s Broman Concert

Cyrus Chestnut

The Music Department at Mary Baldwin University is excited to announce this season’s opening Broman Concert, featuring the internationally-renowned jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Chestnut will be joined by bassist Herman Burney, Jr. and drummer Kelton Norris. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. on October 9 in Francis Auditorium on the Mary Baldwin campus.

One of the most sought-after jazz pianists today, Cyrus Chestnut has performed with an incredible list of collaborators, including Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks, Terence Blanchard, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Regina Carter, Chick Corea, and Betty Carter, among many others. He has appeared on over 100 recordings, including more than thirty solo albums. Soul Food, featuring bassist Christian McBride and drummer Lewis Nash, was included in Down Beat magazine’s list of the Best Records of 2001, and ascended to the “Top 10” on the jazz charts. Chestnut’s 2005 Warner Jazz label trio recording You Are My Sunshine (featuring Michael Hawkins, bass and Neal Smith, drums) has become an enduring hit with jazz and gospel lovers alike. In 2006, Chestnut made his Telarc debut with the release of Genuine Chestnut. The album is a carefully balanced mix of original material with some well-known pop melodies from the past several decades—all driven by Chestnut’s eclectic yet unmistakable jazz sensibility.

Described as “one of the finest bassists on the music scene today,” Herman Burney, Jr. has appeared at prestigious jazz venues and festivals all over the world, including the Blue Note, the Village Vanguard, Smoke, Birdland, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, the Detroit Jazz Festival, and the Atlanta Jazz Festival, as well as in South America, Australia, Europe, and the Far East. He was an integral part of Freddy Cole’s band for nearly eight years and has also performed and/or recorded with Nnenna Freelon, Wynton Marsalis, Rene Marie, Natalie Cole, Hank Jones, and Red Holloway, among many others.

Originally from Raleigh, Mississippi, DC-based drummer and music educator Kelton Norris is known for his “fiery and collaborative playing.” Titled “Best Drummer” by Washington City Paper in 2016, Norris draws from his experiences as a performer in New Orleans and Chicago. He has appeared on stages at well noted venues such as Chicago’s Jazz Showcase and Andy’s Jazz Club, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, The Jazz Kitchen (Indianapolis), Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Bohemian Caverns, and Blues Alley, among many others.

The Broman series continues on February 26, 2024, with the award-winning young mezzo-soprano, Megan Moore. A first prize winner at numerous international competitions, including the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, the Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition, and the Copenhagen Lied Duo Competition, Moore is in-demand on the recital and operatic stage. She has recently appeared with companies such as the Seattle Opera, the Sante Fe Opera, the San Diego Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Mary Baldwin’s popular Sunday Recital Series is also underway. The opening concert, “Latin Fervor: An Afternoon of Latin American Music” features Ian Jessee, violin; Susan Lamb Cook, cello; and Paulo Steinberg, piano (Oct. 1). The season will continue with soprano Jessica Long and pianist Marie Masincup (November 12); pianist Lise Keiter (January 28); and the flute-and-cello due Terra Voce (March 17).

Tickets for the Cyrus Chestnut Concert (October 9) are still available — concert-goers are encouraged to purchase tickets online as soon as possible. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for seniors, and $5 for non-Mary Baldwin students. (MBU students, faculty, and staff may attend free of charge.) Season tickets are also available. For more information about concerts at MBU, or to purchase tickets online, please visit Questions may be emailed to