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Ramsey Lewis & John Pizzarelli on Nat King Cole

A live, moderated JazzTimes chat with Mark Ruffin

Since early 2013, pianist and broadcaster Ramsey Lewis, 79, and singer-guitarist John PizzarellI, 54, have performed together intermittently in a popular tribute to Nat King Cole. One such gig took place at the 2014 Detroit Jazz Festival, held Labor Day weekend, where they also participated in a JT-sponsored live discussion moderated by Mark Ruffin of SiriusXM Radio. Over the course of the hour, Lewis and Pizzarelli (who has long paid homage, in concert and on record, to Cole) reflected on the legacy and influence of this American icon.

 

Ruffin: John, do you remember the first time you heard Nat Cole?

Pizzarelli: I think the real moment that changed my life was when I learned “Straighten Up and Fly Right,” but by a different artist. A guy named Frank Weber made a record of pop songs, and in the middle of it was “Straighten Up and Fly Right.” I learned it and I played it for my father and he said, “That’s Nat King Cole. You should find those records.” So I went to Sam Goody the next day— read more...

 

Ramsey Plays

Nashville Oct 3rd!

special discount

for AFM

members

Ramsey Lewis performs “THE ‘IN’ CROWD” & “HANG ON RAMSEY!” in their entirety.

 

2015 is the

50th Anniversary of "The In Crowd" — Special Performances

Celebrate the Classic Album!

Check Tour Dates Section for details!

Ramsey and Philip Bailey from a Recent Show

Ramsey part of All-star Lineup at Lyric Gala

Lyric Opera celebrated its Diamond Anniversary in grand style Saturday evening, with a dazzling gala held at the Civic Opera House. Conducted by Lyric's music director Sir Andrew Davis, and hosted by Jane Lynch, the evening fielded a treasure trove of performances from a seemingly endless array of luminaries, including Lyric's creative consultant Renee Fleming, jazz great Ramsey Lewis, members of Chicago's Second City, and a host of many among the most celebrated singers active on the international opera stage today.

 

The celebrations also unveiled Lyric's new concert shell, a golden-toned acoustical marvel designed by Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, which complements the theater perfectly and deftly transformed the stage into an ideal venue for such events.  read/see more...

 

Ramsey Receives Fifth Star Award

Choreographer Lou Conte and pianist Ramsey Lewis are among Chicago arts figures who received the first Fifth Star Awards, presented by Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park at 7 p.m. Sept. 17.

 

Also receiving honors: sculptor Richard Hunt, former cultural affairs commissioner Lois Weisberg and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University.

 

“Investing in art and culture can bring economic revitalization to every one of our neighborhoods and a sense of community like no other investment can,” Emanuel said in a statement. “The Fifth Star Awards will be a fitting tribute to all the great artists of the City of Chicago. It will honor our past as a great hub for art and culture, while also becoming an important part of the city’s future.”

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