CHICAGO (AP) — Renowned jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis, whose euphony entertained fans implicit a much than 60-year vocation that began with the Ramsey Lewis Trio and made him 1 of the country’s astir palmy jazz musicians, has died. He was 87.
Lewis is revered successful jazz circles for 1960s hits similar “The In Crowd,” “Hang connected Sloopy” and “Wade successful the Water.” He earned 3 Grammy awards and 7 golden records. The trio’s archetypal grounds successful 1956 was “Ramsey Lewis and the Gentlemen of Swing.”
Lewis died Monday successful his slumber astatine his Chicago home, according to his son, Bobby Lewis.
“He was conscionable astatine peace,” Bobby Lewis told The Associated Press connected Monday night. “Most radical accidental erstwhile they met dada that helium was a people act. He was that mode adjacent done his past breath.”
Ramsey Lewis described his attack to composing and performing successful a 2011 interrogation with the AP.
“Life is simply a solo, and it continues,” Lewis said, sitting astatine the eating country array successful his downtown Chicago home. “I conscionable cognize that erstwhile I enactment my hands connected the soft it’s going to flow.”
Lewis archetypal took soft lessons astatine property 4. He spent his aboriginal days successful Chicago utilizing his gospel and classical roots to make his ain jazz benignant successful the galore vicinity venues that hired young jazz musicians.
“It gave america a batch of accidental to effort our ideas and larn what it means to execute successful beforehand of an audience,” Lewis said arsenic helium was named National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master successful 2007. He accepted the grant from his mentor and chap Jazz Master, pianist Billy Taylor.
During his career, Lewis performed with philharmonic stars specified arsenic Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Al Jarreau and Pat Metheney. Lewis had much than 80 albums to his recognition — 3 twelve of them with Chicago-based Chess Records. He toured astir the satellite and performed astatine the 1995 authorities meal that then-President Bill Clinton hosted for President Fernando Henrique of Brazil.
The Chicago autochthonal began composing large-scale philharmonic works aboriginal successful his career. His archetypal was an eight-movement portion for Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet. He besides completed a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln — “Proclamation of Hope: A Symphonic Poem by Ramsey Lewis.”
Lewis besides hosted vigor shows successful the 1990s and 2000, including “The Ramsey Lewis Morning Show, connected WNUA-FM and the syndicated “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis.” In 2007, helium hosted “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis,” a play programme that aired connected nationalist tv stations nationwide.
The show’s creators said it was the archetypal clip jazz was featured connected a play ground connected web tv successful 40 years. It featured jazz greats and up-and-comers.
Lewis besides spent clip moving connected behalf of charities that brought euphony to young people.
“The past twelvemonth of his beingness helium was moving connected his memoirs,” said Steele, whose Tampa, Florida-based Steele Management has represented Lewis since 2011. “It’s finished and scheduled to travel retired adjacent year.”
In summation to his son, Lewis besides is survived by his wife, Janet; daughters Denise Jeffries and Dawn Allain; 2 different sons Kendall Kelly Lewis and Frayne Lewis; and a fig of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.