Ethel Ennis and Cyrus Chestnut
Historic Duo Performances, Nov. 1 and 2
An die Musik Live will host an historic one-time duo jazz performance by Ethel Ennis and Cyrus Chestnut, spanning two generations of Baltimore’s rich jazz history, on November 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. on each night. Both of these accomplished artists are Baltimore natives.
Admission is $50 per person and includes a reception featuring hors d’oeuvres provided by Mt. Vernon neighborhood restaurants following each night’s concert.
Ethel Ennis, who will turn 81 on November 28, has had an illustrious career of performing, composing and recording. Her most recent recording is a critically praised 2005 live set, captured in performance at Montpelier, MD. She is an inductee of the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.
Ennis first won national recognition for her 1955 recording “Lullaby for Losers”. She came into American households on TV: In 1958, Benny Goodman chose her to be the female vocalist for his all-star band. She was a featured singer on the Arthur Godfrey Show, and she appeared with Duke Ellington and his Orchestra on television's “Bell Telephone Hour.”
Among her most famous performances were the 1964 Newport Jazz Festival with Billy Taylor, Cozy Cole and Slam Stewart; Monterey Jazz Festival duets with Joe Williams; concerts with the Count Basie Band and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; and a double-bill with Cab Calloway at Harlem's Apollo Theater. She was also the first to sing the National Anthem a cappella at a presidential inauguration (Richard Nixon's second).She also performed for Jimmy Carter.
At 50, pianist Cyrus Chestnut Chestnut has earned a reputation for his skillful versatility, his ability for blending sounds and for unabashedly bringing gospel into the club performances he gives. His leadership and prowess as a soloist have led him to be a first call for the piano chair in many big bands, including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band.
After a short stint playing aboard a Caribbean cruise ship in 1985 with a band that included Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams and Tommy Flanagan, Chestnut graduated from Berklee College of Music and went to work with jazz vocalist Jon Hendricks from 1986-88, and trumpeter Terrence Blanchard and saxophonist Donald Harrison from 1988-90, before joining jazz legend Wynton Marsalis in 1991. He then went on the road for two years as the pianist for the Betty Carter Trio.