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Ramsey Lewis dies at age 87

Ramsey Lewis dies at age 87

Lewis died Monday in his sleep at his Chicago house, in keeping with his son, Bobby Lewis.

CHICAGO — Famend jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis, whose music entertained followers over a greater than 60-year profession that started with the Ramsey Lewis Trio and made him one of many nation’s most profitable jazz musicians, has died. He was 87.

Lewis is revered in jazz circles for Sixties hits like “The In Crowd,” “Grasp on Sloopy” and “Wade within the Water.” He earned three Grammy awards and 7 gold information. The trio’s first document in 1956 was “Ramsey Lewis and the Gents of Swing.”

Lewis died Monday in his sleep at his Chicago house, in keeping with his son, Bobby Lewis.

“He was simply at peace,” Bobby Lewis advised The Related Press on Monday night time. “Most individuals say once they met dad that he was a category act. He was that means even by means of his final breath.”

Ramsey Lewis described his strategy to composing and performing in a 2011 interview with the AP.

“Life is a solo, and it continues,” Lewis stated, sitting on the eating room desk in his downtown Chicago house. “I simply know that after I put my fingers on the piano it’s going to move.”

Lewis first took piano classes at age 4. He spent his early days in Chicago utilizing his gospel and classical roots to create his personal jazz type within the many neighborhood venues that employed younger jazz musicians.

“It gave us a whole lot of alternative to attempt our concepts and be taught what it means to carry out in entrance of an viewers,” Lewis stated as he was named Nationwide Endowment for the Arts Jazz Grasp in 2007. He accepted the award from his mentor and fellow Jazz Grasp, pianist Billy Taylor.

Throughout his profession, Lewis carried out with musical stars akin to Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, Al Jarreau and Pat Metheney. Lewis had greater than 80 albums to his credit score — three dozen of them with Chicago-based Chess Information. He toured around the globe and carried out on the 1995 state dinner that then-President Invoice Clinton hosted for President Fernando Henrique of Brazil.

The Chicago native started composing large-scale musical works later in his profession. His first was an eight-movement piece for Chicago’s Joffrey Ballet. He additionally accomplished a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln — “Proclamation of Hope: A Symphonic Poem by Ramsey Lewis.”

Lewis additionally hosted radio exhibits within the Nineteen Nineties and 2000, together with “The Ramsey Lewis Morning Present, on WNUA-FM and the syndicated “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis.” In 2007, he hosted “Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis,” a weekly program that aired on public tv stations nationwide.

The present’s creators stated it was the primary time jazz was featured on a weekly foundation on community tv in 40 years. It featured jazz greats and up-and-comers.

Lewis additionally hung out engaged on behalf of charities that introduced music to younger individuals.

“The final yr of his life he was engaged on his memoirs,” stated Steele, whose Tampa, Florida-based Steele Administration has represented Lewis since 2011. “It’s completed and scheduled to return out subsequent yr.”

Along with his son, Lewis is also survived by his spouse, Janet; daughters Denise Jeffries and Daybreak Allain; two different sons Kendall Kelly Lewis and Frayne Lewis; and quite a lot of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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