Mr. Chestnut

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Written by, Melony Carter

Morris L. Chestnut the husband, father, actor, and producer; was born January 1, 1969 in Cerritos, California. As a former college student –with aspirations of playing in the NFL—Morris attended California State University where he studied drama and finance.

Acting since the early 90’s, he first appeared in an episode of Freddy’s Nightmares in 1990. That following year in 1991 he was able to land his first big-time role, as Ricky; in the film ‘Boyz n the Hood’, which was directed by John Singleton. Later in 1993, Morris acquired the leading role in the Civil Rights movie, ‘The Ernest Green Story’.

Some of his other acting accomplishments include: his performances in the films The Best Man (1999) and its sequel (2013), The Brothers (2001), Two Can Play That Game, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), G.I. Jane (1997) and Half Past Dead (2002), Breakin’ All the Rules (2004) and the Bishop T.D. Jakes’s novel-based film Not Easily Broken (2009).

Married to Pam Byse in 1995, they have two children. Nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2000 for The Best Man; he has also performed in the off-Broadway play Love in the Nick of Tyme (2007). Currently, Mr. Chestnut is hosting and the co-excutive producer of the BET show Vindicated.

Genius, Marsalis.

 

Written by, Melony Carter

Wynton Marsalis, enough said…

The musical; is one of today’s great trumpet players. Instructor, composer, author, bandleader, often acclaimed Grammy Winner, producer and philanthropist; Mr. Marsalis has achieved many strides within the jazz and classical communities alike.

With influences like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Charlie Parker no wonder why he has had a very successful career. Wynton was born in 1961 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Discovering his love for music as a youth; he played for the Fairview Baptist Church band at the age of eight. By fourteen, he played for the New Orleans Philharmonic. As he continued to develop his talent he would gained more musical knowledge and training as an instrumentalist for several institutions such as: the New Orleans Symphony Brass Quintet, the New Orleans Community Concert Band, the New Orleans Youth Orchestra, and the New Orleans Symphony; to name a few.

Over the course of the years he has also worked sided-by-side with many very popular jazz musicians such as: Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sweets Edison, Ron Carter, and Herbie Hancock and many others.

Finding a way to blend his styles with the classical – at twenty— Marsalis won the Grammy Award® for “Best Classical Soloist with an Orchestra.” As he continued to utilize his abilities more he won several Grammy’s for both jazz and classical arrangements and recorded 10 other classical records.

Writer of five books; this brilliantly talented musician has been awarded with thirty-one Honorary Degrees. He has also produced more than 70 records that have sold well over seven million copies worldwide and has won three Gold Records.
To add to his many accolades in 1997 Wynton’s became the first jazz musician for the oratorio; Blood On The Fields, to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music.

As a philanthropist, whether it’s Hurricane Katrina or My Sister’s Place; Mr. Wynton is always willing to give for an honorable cause.