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Ramsey Lewis

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Composer and pianist Ramsey Lewis has been referred to as “the great performer", a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. A native Chicagoan (born May 27, 1935), Mr. Lewis represents the great diversity of music for which Chicago is noted. Ramsey Lewis first captivated fans with his first album “Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen of Swing” by the Ramsey Lewis Trio. By 1965, he was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with The In Crowd, Hang On Sloopy and Wade In The Water. He has three Grammy Awards and seven gold records to his credit. Often called legendary, Ramsey concedes “It’s a high honor when someone says so, but I don’t see myself that way. What keeps me enthusiastic and energizes me, is the realization that the more I learn, the more I find there is to know.” To his credit, he has been honored with three (3) honorary doctorate degrees, the Recording Academy Governor’s Award in 2000 and he was “Person of the Week” on ABC Nightly News in February 1995. Mr. Lewis performed at the White House State dinner President Bill Clinton held for President Fernando Henrique & Mrs. Cardoso of Brazil in April of 1995. He was awarded the prestigious Lincoln Academy of Illinois “Laureate” Award in Springfield, Illinois in April of 1997, and was one of the Olympic Torch runners who carried the Winter 2002 Olympic Torch during its journey to Salt Lake City in January of 2002. In addition to recording albums and performing live, Mr. Lewis hosts WNUA-FM Chicago’s weekday morning drive-time radio show for which he has been awarded R&R’s 1999 and 2000 Personality of the Year Award. He also hosts the syndicated “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis”, a two-hour radio program which airs in over 65 cities throughout the U.S. Active in community affairs, especially on behalf of youth, he helped organize the Ravinia Festival’s Jazz Mentor Program and also serves as the Artistic Director for that festival’s jazz series. He is constantly his own trio composed of Larry Gray on bass and Leon Joyce on drums. Check the tour page for current dates. Mr. Lewis has performed concerts and has played many of the jazz festivals and summer venues in the U.S. He has performed with over 25 symphony orchestras in the U.S. and Canada and has performed in concert and at festivals throughout Europe, Japan, Mexico and the Caribbean.

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Article: Radio

Returned to Forever: The Chick Corea's Songbook, Part 2

Read "Returned to Forever: The Chick Corea's Songbook, Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


We continue our journey through the Chick Corea Songbook (part 1). For decades he was one of the contemporary ambassadors of American jazz, inspiring fans and other musicians all over the world. In this part of the programme, we'll feature renditions of his work by musicians from abroad and from the USA, and from across musical ...

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Article: What is Jazz?

Ghosts In The Machine, Part 3: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music

Read "Ghosts In The Machine, Part 3: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part 3: The GhostsIn a recent essay in Commentary, Terry Teachout, arts and culture critic for the Wall Street Journal, makes an argument for the date on which the jazz era officially ended and the rock/pop era began—May 9, ...

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Article: Album Review

Jerry Granelli: The Jerry Granelli Trio Plays The Music Of Vince Guaraldi & Mose Allison

Read "The Jerry Granelli Trio Plays The Music Of Vince Guaraldi & Mose Allison" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Drummer Jerry Granelli, bassist Brad Jones and pianist Jamie Saft team in a trio that Plays Vince Guaraldi & Mose Allison to honor two of the most influentially lyrical and bluesy composer-musicians in jazz history. Granelli possesses deep personal insight into both principals. He landed in the drum chair in Vince Guaraldi's trio just ...

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Article: From the Inside Out

Soul Songs, Mose Songs & COVID Aid for Djibouti

Read "Soul Songs, Mose Songs & COVID Aid for Djibouti" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Bahama Soul Club Bohemia After Dawn Buyú Records 2020 Soulful original music laced with judicious and striking samples, Bohemia After Dawn serves a textbook example of music that packs an impact larger than the sum of its parts. Written, arranged, produced and performed by Oliver Belz ...

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Article: Album Review

George Kahn: DreamCatcher

Read "DreamCatcher" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


George Kahn is another one of those talented West Coast jazz pianists, in the fashion of Dave Brubeck, Ramsey Lewis, Vince Guaraldi and Wynton Kelly. His recorded output presents a sound with a clean, bright polish, and an engaging, easy swing. Each of his previous discs shines a light on the beauty of the mainstream, especially ...

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Article: Interview

My Conversation with Gary Peacock

Read "My Conversation with Gary Peacock" reviewed by AAJ Staff


This article was first published at All About Jazz in October 1999. Having been in the political arena, I know first hand the power of celebrity's undertow. It has a way of casually siphoning the integrity of a candidate. Fame and power in politics, I find, is quite similar in our music, and that ...

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Article: Live Review

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2020

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal  2020" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


2020 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Various Venues Montréal, Canada June 27-30, 2020 Above all else the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal is a spectacular ten-day event: with around 2 million visitors and 500 concerts on 20 stages, it is ranked as the world's largest jazz ...

News: Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Ramsey Lewis

Jazz Musician of the Day: Ramsey Lewis

All About Jazz is celebrating Ramsey Lewis' birthday today! Composer and pianist Ramsey Lewis has been referred to as “the great performer", a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. A native Chicagoan (born May 27, ...

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Article: Radio

Sir Stevie: Jammin' on Stevie Wonder - Part 1

Read "Sir Stevie: Jammin' on Stevie Wonder - Part 1" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


Stevie Wonder has more entries in the Real Book than any other pop musician, The Beatles included. It is not surprising therefore that his Songbook has been mined by hundreds of jazz musicians, including the likes of Sonny Rollins, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dexter Gordon or Herbie Hancock. To mark the 70th birthday of ...


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