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MUSICIAN Born:

Ramsey Lewis

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.

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

Meet Tom Kohn

Read "Meet Tom Kohn" reviewed by Tessa Souter and Andrea Wolper

Like many of our Jazz Super Fans, Tom Kohn's passion for music started when he was a teen, with a job in a record store and a penchant for acquiring albums that would impress even the most dedicated adult collectors. He grew up into a music business day job but, after suffering a life-changing event, he ...

VII

Label: Ropeadope
Released: 2019
Track listing: Dear Lord; Tequila Mockingbird; The Shape Of My Heart; Sharing Her Journey; The Rose; The Spark; I'll Never Forget You; Baby What You Want Me To Do; And I Love Her; Armando's Rhumba; Trees.

ARTICLE: TOP TEN LIST

The Top Ten Christmas Jazz Albums Of All Time

Read "The Top Ten Christmas Jazz Albums Of All Time" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes

As temperatures drop and days grow short, Winter is once again upon us. For those looking to listen to the sounds of the season without resorting to December's relentless slew of glossy, generic cash-grabs, jazz can be a breath of fresh, wintry air. You won't find (many) singers on this list, since most people already know ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ramsey Lewis & Urban Knights: VII

Read "VII" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

Back in 1995, an executive named Carl Griffin at Ramsey Lewis' record label reportedly conceived the idea of forming a jazz “super group" around the well-established Chicago pianist. The resulting all-star project, deemed Urban Knights, featured Grover Washington Jr. and a rhythm section with Omar Hakim and bassist Victor Bailey, who'd worked together in the early ...

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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