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Piano master Ramsey Lewis performs live at KNKX

In 1965, Chicago jazz pianist, Ramsey Lewis had a hit record—‘The In Crowd’ (by The Ramsey Lewis Trio, featuring drummer Redd Holt and bassist, Eldee Young). Since that time, Lewis has recorded over 80 albums. He has also hosted the popular Legends Of Jazz radio and television series’. Now, at age 74, Ramsey Lewis is reveling in his relatively new career as a composer.

In 2006, Lewis was asked to write a score for the Joffrey Ballet. This, as he tells Jazz24 music director, Nick Francis, in this interview, was his first serious attempt at composing and has been a great inspiration; enough of an inspiration to spur him to make his first new trio recording in five years.

However, even though he has opened new creative doors for himself, it hasn’t changed his views on how to present jazz in ways that will attract larger audiences and he expands on those views in this interview.

Along with this interesting conversation, we’ll hear Ramsey Lewis play three beautiful solo piano pieces including Clouds In Reverie from his new CD (a composition based on part of his ballet score) and two songs he’s never recorded, In The Still Of The Night and a very impromptu, very beautiful version of Lennon/McCartney’s, Here There And Everywhere.

Studio Sessions Ramsey LewisLive Studio Sessions
Justin joined KNKX in 2009 as the station's first Multimedia Manager. In this role, Justin helped to produce multimedia content, and implement systems and procedures in efforts to transform KNKX from a traditional broadcast station into a multi-platform media organization.
Nick began working at KNKX as a program host in the late 1980’s and, with the exception of a relatively brief hiatus, has been with the station ever since. Along with his work as a Midday Jazz host, Nick worked for several years as KNKX’s Music Director. He is now the station’s Production Manager and also serves as a fill-in host on KNKX’s jazz and blues programs.