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Ramsey Lewis ([Portrait of Ramsey Lewis])

Ramsey Lewis

Composer and pianist Ramsey Lewis has been referred to as "the great performer", a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. A native Chicagoan (born May 27, 1935), Mr. Lewis represents the great diversity of music for which Chicago is noted. Ramsey Lewis first captivated fans with his first album "Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen of Swing" by the Ramsey Lewis Trio. By 1965, he was one of the nation's most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with The In Crowd, Hang On Sloopy and Wade In The Water.

Video and Audio

A people made success

Dave Brubeck tells the story of how the album Time Out came to be released and the record label’s initial reaction to the platinum selling album.

An "easy laugh"

Brubeck recounts the story about a piece of music he wrote for an “easy laugh” but was the musician’s effort to make a statement about segregation.

A musical education in the Capital

Billy Taylor describes the jazz scene in Washington D.C. and his trips to the Howard Theater as a teenager.

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