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Ralph Lampkin Jr.

Lampkin has 35 years in this business we call Show!

About Me

Ralph Lampkin Jr; owner of Lampkin Music Group, has produced concerts/cabarets/special events cross country such as: the legendary Carnegie Hall/Weill Hall, Apollo Theater, Mercury Theater, 88's, Don't Tell Mama's, Bailiwick Theater, North Shore Performing Arts Center in Chicago, Avery Schreiber Theater, Sacred Fools Theater and co-producing with Michael Sterling @ Sterling's at Vitello's and Sterling's at the Federal in LA. LMG has shared their passion for great music with productions in the South Bend/Mishawaka area at Moreau Performing Arts Center, Ruthmere Museum, Trios Jazz Club, South Bend Museum of Art, Palais Royale, Morris Performing Arts Center, Firehouse Theater, The Acting Ensemble, South Bend Civic Theater and the Niles Center in Michigan. The plethora of musicians/performers he has produced, whether live in concert or in the studio or as part of the South Bend Jazz Festival includes: Tony award winners Alice Ripley, Hinton Battle and Donna McKechnie, Johnny Frigo, Norman Connors, Suzanne Palmer, Hollis Resnik, Fareed Hague, Larry Gray, Joe McBride, Leon Joyce Danny Lerman, Etiene Charles, Alexandra Billings, Linda Clifford, William Blout Jr., Von Freeman, Spider Saloff, Devin Richards, the late David Gurland, Tom Michael, Beckie Menzie, Cory Jamison, Tony nominee Amy Morton, Sue Conway, Martha Lorin, Moutin Factory Quintet, Kristen Gustafson, Suzanne Palmer, Robin Kay and Karen Mason, to name a few. The label, LMGMUSIC, has released/produced recordings of such talents as Grand Auto Theft 1V vocal talent Devin Richards, Diane Arnstein, Alexandra Billings, Bob Solone, Ester Hana, Tyler Stephenson, Martha Lorin, Robin Kay and the CD debut of Chicago based singer Carlo Chapelle. These recordings have been heard on NPR (reaching number 1 on several stations), DMX radio, Discover Radio (reaching number 1 on the jazz chart), Everything Old is New Again - N.Y, National Dance Pool Chart (reaching the top #25). Ralph has 19 ASCAP awards for his talents as a lyricist. Lampkin has been called "Producer Extradinaire" by the Chicago Reader; "Cabaret's Guro" by Andrew Patner of WMFT and Chicago's "premier cabaret producer" by writer/critic, Jonathan Abarbanel. LMG has been sponsored by CW25, WUBU, WVPE, Flowersbystephen, Shirk's Piano and Organ, Walters Piano, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame, International Chicago Film Festival, ESPN, WSMK and WAUS.

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because it is a universal language, a genre that expands decades. Songs written by composers such as Gershwin, Porter, Weill, Ellington, Basie, Lewis, Davis mixed with the younger set composers like Hersch, Elling, McBride and Chestnut. I was first exposed to jazz by my Dad, who owned Small's Paradise in 75/76 after its heyday. The musicians would come round to see him nightly. It was cool, a great learning experience. I sang there (started my career as a singer) after high school--the summer of 1975. I have worked live or in the recording studio with many a jazz artist: the late Johnny Frigo, the late Von Freeman, Eddie DeHass, Norman Connors, Russ Kassoff, Joe McBride, Joanie Palatto, Bradley Parker Sparrow, Sheila Jordan, Bob Dorough, Christian Howe, Larry Gray, Leon Joyce, Billy Stritch, Sam Arlen, Bobby Schiff, Fareed Haque, Kelly Sill, Danny Lerman, Don Lerman, Suzanne Palmer, Martha Lorin and Spider Saloff to name a few. The best show I ever attended was Sarah Vaughan at The Grand Finale in March 1980. First time I met her as an adult. She was a friend of my Dad's prior to him meeting my Mother. She shared so many stories with me, and sang like no one else I had ever experienced. Such passion, such attachment to the lyric, such attention to the melody line, while still leaving room for improvisation. Her version of Send in the Clowns was so hot, yet so cool at the same time. The first jazz record I bought was Billie Holiday's "Lady in Satin." My advice to new listeners is to dig deep into the amazon.com catalogue of jazz recordings. You will find thousands of songs of which to teach you the genres, from jazz singers to jazz instrumentalists.

My Favorites

  1. Barbra Streisand- Anything
  2. Michael Feinstein - Forever
  3. Sarah Vaughan - Songs of Michel Legrand