Every day, as late afternoon drifts into evening, Ramsey Lewis’s wife Janet Tamillow brings him a glass of wine. It’s the signal that his workday is over and it’s time for dinner.
Lewis was a well-known American jazz composer, pianist and radio personality. He passed away on 12th September 2022 at the age of 87.
Ramsey Lewis’s Wife
The renowned jazz composer and pianist Ramsey Lewis has passed away at the age of 87. He died on Monday at his home in Chicago. The cause of his death is unknown at this time.
During his illustrious career, Ramsey Lewis recorded seven gold-selling albums and won three Grammy Awards. He embraced a variety of music genres, including jazz, pop, gospel, and Latin. He also toured and hosted a syndicated show on the radio and television.
His earliest musical endeavors were in the jazz clubs of his neighborhood in Chicago, where he honed his style using his gospel and classical roots. After joining the Ramsey Lewis Trio with bassist Eldee Young and drummer Redd Holt, he released his first album on Chess Records in 1956.
After he left the group, he teamed up with Earth Wind and Fire founder Maurice White to record the pop-soul hit “Wade in the Water.” This was his last successful jazz album.
In the ’70s, Lewis adapted his sound to embrace R&B and Latin. His 1983 re-reunion of the Ramsey Lewis Trio with Holt and Young produced two more hits, “The In Crowd” and “Sun Goddess.”
As a jazz pianist, Lewis is best known for his ability to blend different genres, creating an unforgettable sound. His crossover success with a knack for interpreting popular songs into jazz instrumentals helped him win new audiences and made his music part of the soundtrack to British club culture.
Throughout his career, Lewis was a tireless promoter and educator. He toured worldwide and partnered with Chicago’s Ravinia Jazz Festival. He commissioned two long-form compositions, To Know Her for the Joffrey Ballet and Proclamation of Hope: A Symphonic Poem, in celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s bicentennial.
He was a respected and beloved figure in the jazz world, and his legacy will live on. He was a member of the National Endowment for the Arts and a Jazz Master.
The Associated Press reports that Lewis died at his home in Chicago on Monday morning at the age of 87. His son Bobby Lewis reported that he died peacefully.
Ramsey Lewis’s Son Ravi Coltrane
Born in Chicago, he started taking piano lessons at age four. His father was a church choir director, and his mother’s love of symphonic music provided him with a childhood soundtrack. He also loved jazz, and he was inspired by artists such as Duke Ellington and Art Tatum.
After graduating from El Camino Real High School, Lewis enrolled at the California Institute of the Arts. His first gig came at a small club in Los Angeles, where he met saxophonist Steve Coleman, who would play a major role in his development.
In the ’90s, he worked with Coleman’s M-Base group, and on tour with drum legend Elvin Jones. His saxophone style is rooted in the music of his parents, but he has engineered his own modern approach to improvisation.
He has released several acclaimed albums, and has appeared with many notable musicians, including Geri Allen, Kenny Barron, McCoy Tyner, Pharoah Sanders, and Herbie Hancock. He has also served as a producer for a number of his peers.
His career has spanned over 60 years and has garnered him three Grammys and seven gold records. In addition to his numerous recordings, Lewis is a respected educator and cultural force. He is also the founder of the Ramsey Lewis Foundation, which helps connect at-risk children to the world of music.
Throughout his life, he has been a strong supporter of local artists. He was known for his encouragement and mentoring of younger artists, and he always kept true to his roots in Chicago.
When he is not playing live, he hosts the Ramsey Lewis Morning Show on WNUA-FM in Chicago. He is also an Art Tatum Professor in Jazz Studies at Roosevelt University, where he founded the Ramsey Lewis Foundation to help at-risk children learn about the music industry.
In 2002, he curated the Legacy Collection of his father’s recordings for Verve Records. He is the primary keeper of the Coltrane legacy and oversees a vast collection of unreleased music.
He is also the founder of a number of educational projects, and is a member of the Board of Directors at The Coltrane Home, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving John Coltrane’s former home in Dix Hills, Long Island.
Ramsey Lewis’s Personal Life
The pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis was a defining talent of the jazz genre during the mid-20th century, winning three Grammy Awards in his lifetime. He was also a recipient of an NAACP Image Award and a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award.
Born in Chicago, Illinois, on May 27, 1935, Lewis was raised in a family that nurtured his love of music. He began taking piano lessons at age four and grew up playing in local ensembles. As a freshman in high school, he joined a jazz group called The Clefs, which featured bassist Eldee Young and drummer Isaac “Red” Holt.
After graduating from Wells High School in 1956, the trio — including Lewis — recorded their first album for Chess Records. They later formed a second trio with Cleveland Eaton on bass and Maurice White on drums. The Ramsey Lewis Trio would go on to become one of the most popular jazz ensembles in the country, releasing a number of albums and recording hits such as the classic gospel instrumental “Wade in the Water.”
When the group disbanded, Lewis moved to New York City where he began performing in nightclubs. His 1965 hit record The In Crowd topped the charts and won him critical acclaim. He was a pioneer of fusion music, performing rock covers such as “Hang on Sloopy” and “A Hard Day’s Night” while still retaining his jazz roots.
He continued to pursue his musical interests, launching a side project called Urban Knights in the 1990s and collaborating with a variety of contemporary jazz stars. He also hosted a syndicated radio show and a public television series.
At age 87, Lewis died on Monday in his home city of Chicago. He is survived by his wife Jan and their five children, 17 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by two sons. He was a native of Chicago and had lived in the area for more than 60 years.
Ramsey Lewis’s Net Worth
Ramsey Lewis is an American jazz composer, pianist and radio personality who has a net worth of $8 million. He was born on 27th May 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, United States. He died on 12th September 2022 at the age of 87.
In his career, he released over 80 albums and earned five gold records and three Grammy awards. He is best known for his hit songs such as “The In Crowd,” “Hang On Ramsey!,” and “Wade in the Water.”
He was also famous for his work on radio, hosting the Ramsey Lewis Morning Show on the Chicago WNUA smooth jazz radio station. This show was broadcast on other smooth jazz stations nationwide until WNUA converted to Spanish programming in 2009.
Lewis was a member of the Dave Brubeck Institute and served as the honorary board member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. He founded the Ramsey Lewis Foundation to help at-risk children get into music education. He also facilitated the Legends of Jazz radio program.
Ramsey Lewis toured with Max Roach and Lorez Alexandria, as well as other big names in jazz such as Jimmy Woode. He also subbed in for Herbie Hancock and Roy Ayers in the 1970s.
Throughout his career, Lewis worked as a sideman for many different artists and also composed his own music. He has been recognized with a number of awards, including the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award and the Chicago Mayor’s Award for Public Service.
In 2005, Lewis founded the Ramsey Lewis Foundation to help at-risk youths get into the music industry. He is the creative director of Jazz at Ravinia (a yearly element at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois) and established Ravinia’s Jazz Mentor Program. He also serves on the board of trustees for Merit School of Music and The Chicago High School for the Arts.
Ramsey Lewis died in his home on Monday, September 12th, 2022 at the age of 87. He was surrounded by his family and friends at the time of his death. His death was reportedly due to natural causes, as per his son Bobby Lewis.