Ramsey Lewis in Cape May, NJ, 11-10-12
Pianist performed at the Exit 0 International Jazz Festival
by Karen Brundage-Johnson
IPianist/composer Ramsey Lewis brought his Sun Goddess tour with his Electric Band to headline the inaugural Exit 0 International Jazz Festival, a three-day jazz event in Cape May, N.J., that kicked off on Nov. 9 and ran through Nov. 11.
Lewis and his band played on the Main Stage inside the newly renovated Cape May Convention Hall. The festival marked the second time Lewis played in Cape May, after appearing many years ago as a headliner with the original Cape May Jazz Festival. The Main Stage was set up in the style of a 500-seat jazz bistro.
Lewis’ style is largely influenced by his early gospel playing and classical training, along with his fondness of jazz, blues and R&B. Selections included “Betcha By Golly, Wow,” a medley of gospel songs including “Pass Me Not” and “Wade in the Water,” “Go Where I Send Thee,” segueing into read more...
Pianist Ramsey Lewis delivers a playful set at Montgomery County Community College
Written by Shaun Brady
It was evident from the outset of Friday's performance that Ramsey Lewis was in a playful mood. He opened with "Wade in the Water," an appropriate number for a sold-out audience that had just walked in from a gray, rainy day. But it was a tease: Lewis suddenly interpolated Irving Berlin's "Heat Wave" into what had been a hushed, lyrical solo.
The 77-year-old piano great maintained that jocular mood throughout his 90-minute set at Montgomery County Community College's Science Center Theater, though often at the expense of his much read more...
Lewis, Ramsey & His Electric Band: Ramsey: Taking Another Look
Written by Elias Granillo
Longtime jazzman Ramsey Lewis has returned to the electric district on his funkiest outing in years. Taking Another Look is in part a revisiting of Lewis' highly-regarded 1974 classic Sun Goddess. On that album, which Lewis recorded with Earth, Wind & Fire's Philip Bailey and Maurice White, Lewis demonstrated his prowess on a level that matched Herbie Hancock's. Lewis' performances on ARP synthesizers and Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, as well as acoustic piano and electric guitar, earned the already-successful keyboardist and composer scores of new fans the way Hancock's first Headhunters albums cast a net out to lovers of funk one year earlier.
Ramsey: Taking Another Look sees the now 76-year-old Lewis rerecording five selections from Sun Goddess plus five new tracks. The burning synthesized funk of "Tambura" indeed gives "Chameleon" a run for its money. The expressive read more...
Jazz hero Ramsey Lewis keeps it all upbeat
by Trish Crawford
Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis didn't get to the age of 77, and have 80 albums under his belt, by singing the blues.
When asked how he is doing, the father of seven and grandfather of 13 says, “Life is great. I live in the moment and the moment is good.”
The native of Chicago and crossover jazz-pop legend headlines the lineup for the April 25 sold-out fundraiser read more...
Ramsey Lewis Sun Goddess Tour Closes Gem Theater
The Sun Goddess Tour featuring Ramsey Lewis and His Electric Band will close out the 2011-2012 Jammin' at the Gem concert series with a performance in the historic Gem Theater in Kansas City, MO on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at 8:00 PM.
With the release of “Ramsey, Taking Another Look" Ramsey started touring last summer with a 5 piece electric band including Henry Johnson, Tim Gant, Joshua Ramos and Charles Heath.
Received with wide spread enthusiasm and sold out shows world-wide the tour continues into 2012.
This energentic quintet will be playing all read more...
Howard Theatre reopens, Washington D.C.'s historic home for jazz.
By Vance Garnett
Today, after standing dormant for more than three-decades, the historic Howard Theatre enjoys a grand reopening, following a $29 million renovation project.
Hopes are high for the Howard. It is opening with a rebuilt stage, a state-of-the-art sound system, walnut paneling, oak floors, new seats, and huge portraits of its magnificent past performers. A 20-foot statue of Washington's own Duke Ellington stands in front of this entertainment palace.
The Howard Theatre opened in 1910, nestled mid-city at the convergence of Florida Avenue, 7th and T streets. This vibrant venue was read more...
The "In" Crowd: That other Mad Men song.
By Chris Vognar
Jessica Pare's Megan stole the Mad Men premiere (and mortified Don Draper) with her hip-swiveling take on "Zou Bisou Bisou" (read Alan Peppard's post here). But the song that came right before is the one that had my head nodding, mostly because it was already a personal favorite. Are you in with "The 'In' Crowd"?
The song was originally a pretty tame pop look at what it meant to be cool in 1965, the year Billy Page wrote it and Dobie Gray first put it on wax. Then jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis got a hold of it, gave it some swing and turned it into a quintessential hipster jam. (That's the rough version the band at Megan's party plays).
The lyrics actually provide some sly commentary on Mad Men's eager-to-impress status climbers: "I'm in with the In crowd/And I go where the in crowd goes/I'm in with the in crowd/And I know what the in crowd knows." But it's the piano sound, easily recognizable after read more...
Ramsey Lewis: Jazz icon mentors next generation of musicians
By D. Kevin McNeir
Ramsey Lewis, 77, is one of Black America’s senior statesmen of jazz. The Grammy Award-winning pianist and composer is best known for his chart-topping singles, “The In Crowd,” “Hang on Sloopy” and “Wade in the Water” — all three sold over one million copies and were certified gold. In between touring, Lewis hosts a weekly syndicated radio program, Legends of Jazz, and can often be seen in his hometown of Chicago, talking to young people about the history and relevance of jazz. In his 50-year career, Lewis has recorded close to 80 albums, including his latest, Ramsey Taking Another Look,” which includes an electric band and features the hit by Stevie Wonder, “Living for the City.” read more...
Jazz legend Ramsey Lewis’ band arrives in New Jersey for the Exit 0 International Jazz Festival
by Eunice Moseley
The legendary Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis brings his band to Cape May, New Jersey November 9 – 11, 2012 for the Exit 0 International Jazz Festival. Lewis is promoting his newest album release “Ramsey…Taking Another Look.” With 50 years in the business and 80 albums to his credit the three-time Grammy Award winner has an honorary Doctorate from Loyola University in Chicago.
“The stage show is actually a result of the album,” Lewis said when ask what we can expect on his shows, which ends at the festival in November. “Someone said you are a three [man band], how about a quintet. So I invited two more people.”
Lewis’ additional members bring a more contemporary sound to the band, which is evident on the “Ramsey…Taking Another Look” project.
Jazz Legend Ramsey Lewis coming to Blue Bell
by Walter Ault
Renowned jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis has had an extremely successful and rewarding career. The 77-year-old Chicago native has been entertaining people for more than 60 years. Along the way, Lewis has become a jazz legend, recording hit songs and performing all over the world.
To date, he has the staggering total of 80 albums to his credit and has written more than 500 songs. Lewis has collected three Grammy Awards and seven gold records and, among other accolades and honors, was named the National Endowment for the Arts, Jazz Masters Award winner in 2007.
Area fans can see and hear him perform on Friday, Oct.19, when he commands
Al Jarreau and Ramsey Lewis
On Friday evening September 21, 2012, The Peach Review was proud to attend a concert consisting of two jazz giants — pianist Ramsey Lewis, and singer Al Jarreau. These two giants, at the ages of 77 and 72 respectively, showed that they still know how to bring down the house!
The concert was held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, and proved to be a “perfect storm” for the venue – the Centre was celebrating the 5th anniversary of its opening, as well as celebrating opening night for Jazz Roots: A Larry Rosen Jazz Series. Now, for those who consider themselves jazz aficionados, I’m sure your antenna vibrates when you hear the name Larry Rosen. If you’ve enjoyed jazz at any point from the 70’s forward (i.e. The Yellowjackets, Angela Bofill, Tom Browne, Ramsey Lewis, The Rippingtons, Spyra Gyra, David Benoit, Lee Ritenour, Chick Corea, Diana Krall, and Arturo Sandoval just to name a few), you’ve listened to some music courtesy of GRP (Grusin, Rose Productions – as in Dave Grusin).
After being warmed up in the venue’s foyer by a wonderful local high school jazz band, Ramsey Lewis’ quintet kicked things off. His set could be characterized as a “book-end performance” — he opened up with one bookend, his standard “Wade In The Water”, and closed read more...
Apr 30 Istanbul, Turkey
May 4 Atlanta, GA
May 17 Seoul, South Korea
June 14 NYC, NY
June 19-20 Atlanta, GA
July 1 Paris, France