Renowned jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis dead at 87

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Renowned jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis, whose music career spanning 60 years has earned him three Grammy Awards, died on Monday. He was 87 years old.

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Lewis, best known for his role as the Ramsey Lewis Trio, died in his sleep at his Chicago home, his son Bobby Lewis told the Associated Press.

His son said that his father was at peace at the time of his death.

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“Most people say when they met Dad he was a class act,” said Bobby Lewis. “He was like that till his last breath too.”

A Chicago native, Lewis learned piano from the young age of four, when he first took lessons. He used his roots in classical and gospel music to create his own style of jazz, which he performed at several Chicago venues, giving young musicians their debut.

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He toured the world and performed with other musical greats such as Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Al Jarreau and Pat Metheny. He played at the 1995 state dinner then-President Bill Clinton hosted for Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Lewis received seven gold records as well as three Grammys and was named to the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2007.

“I just know it’s going to flow when I put my hand on the piano,” Lewis said in a 2011 interview with the Associated Press.

Ramsey Lewis devoted time to the charity bringing music to the youth.
AP

He composed music extensively later in his career, including an eight-movement piece for Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, Lewis also hosted radio and TV shows that focused on jazz legends and rising stars such as “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis”, a weekly program that ran nationwide. broadcast on public television stations.

He also devoted his time to charities that brought music to young people.

Ramsey Lewis stands next to a piano.
Ramsey Lewis started learning piano at the age of four.
AP

“Ramsey’s passion for music was truly inspired by the love and dedication of his fans around the world,” his wife, Janet Lewis, said in a Facebook post. “He loved visiting and meeting music lovers from many cultures and walks of life. It was a great pleasure for our family to share Ramsay in this special way with all those who admired his God-given talent. Of. “

Lewis spent the last year of his life perfecting his memoirs, which are due to be published next year, said his longtime representative, Brett Steele.

“I believe that my father – his love for the piano and his passion for the piano and how he coveted this love and how he preserved it – gave him longevity,” said Bobby Lewis. “He recognized the gift that God had given him.”

In addition to his wife Janet and son Bobby, Lewis is survived by daughters Denise Jeffries and Don Allen; two other sons, Kendall Kelly Lewis and Frayne Lewis; And many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

post with wires

Credit: nypost.com /

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