Jazz legend, NEA Jazz Master, and triple Grammy Award-winner and Ramsey Lewis has been an iconic leader in the contemporary jazz
movement for over 60 years, with an unforgettable sound and outgoing personality that has allowed him to cross over to the Pop and R&B charts.
Lewis earned his first gold record, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance, for his swinging version of Dobie Gray’s hit “The In
Crowd” with the Ramsey Lewis Trio. He returned to the pop charts in 1966 with versions of “Hang On Sloopy” and “Wade In The Water.” Throughout
the years, Lewis’ trio has undergone membership changes, all the while staying true to Lewis’ high musical standards.
After Young and Holt left Lewis’ trio to form their own group, the pianist hired a new rhythm section with Cleveland Eaton on bass and Maurice
White on drums. When White left the band to form Earth, Wind & Fire, Morris Jennings signed on as the trio’s new percussionist. White returned
to produce Lewis’ 1974 smash album entitled Sun Goddess, in which Lewis first experimented with electronic keyboards and featured Earth,
Wind & Fire on the album. In 1983, Lewis returned to the studio with Young and Holt for the album Reunion.
Throughout his illustrious career, Lewis has also joined forces with countless other artists to create new and innovative music. In 1984, he
collaborated with Nancy Wilson on The Two of Us; in 1988, he recorded with London’s Philharmonic Orchestra for the album A Classic
Encounter; and in 1989, Lewis and Dr. Billy Taylor cut a set of piano duets in We Meet Again. In 1995, Lewis launched the side project Urban
Knights, in which he collaborated with a handful of successful crossover jazz stars, including Grover Washington, Jr., Earl Klugh, and Dave Koz.
A new show was syndicated nationally in 2006 under the name Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis and was broadcast on jazz radio stations
across the country. In 2006, a well-received 13-episode Legends of Jazz television series hosted by Lewis was broadcast by PBS on public TV
nationwide and featured live performances by a variety of jazz artists including Larry Gray, Lonnie Smith, Joey Defrancesco, Dave Brubeck, Chick
Corea, Kurt Elling, Benny Golson, Pat Metheny and Tony Bennett. Lately he has been touring with Philip Bailey (Earth, Wind & Fire),
John Pizzarelli and Dee Dee Bridgewater as well as doing dates in celebration of the 50th anniversary of "The 'In' Crowd".
After having played mostly in an acoustic trio for the last fifteen years, Lewis’ latest endeavor has him returning to his electric roots. The threetime
Grammy winner released his new CD Taking Another Look in 2015, featuring a new electric quintet with Henry Johnson on guitar, Michael
Logan on keys, Joshua Ramos on bass and Charles Heath on drums. On the CD, Lewis rekindles his 1974 career-defining album “Sun Goddess”
through a collection of re-recorded tracks from the original disc perfectly balanced with five new tunes. “Jungle Strut” has all the attitude of its
1974 original and Lewis makes magic on the Fender Rhodes in “Tambura.” And rather than re-recording the title track “Sun Goddess”, Lewis has
beautifully re-edited the original studio recording featuring Earth, Wind and Fire. Lewis and his Electric Band breathe new life into classic covers,
such as the new high- octane rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Living For The City” for which Ramsey shot a great a new video and a tender
interpretation of the timeless “Betcha By Golly Wow.”
"I've recorded maybe 70-80 albums, and this latest album is definitely among the top five" said Lewis.
Friday June 9th - 8:OO pm - National Grid Main Stage