“Steinway is my piano because it is so perfectly crafted. It becomes an extension of me and my imagination. I can concentrate on what music I want to make rather than how to make it.”
With more than 80 albums to his name, Steinway Artist and NEA Jazz Master Ramsey Lewis (1935-2022) won three Grammy’s and earned seven Gold records. An iconic leader in the contemporary jazz movement, he has also crossed over into pop and R&B charts with stunning success. An early foray into electronic keyboards with Earth, Wing, & Fire resulted in his 1974 smash album, Sun Goddess. That recording marked the beginning of a long musical relationship with the band, which remains fruitful to this day.
He received the Recording Academy Governor’s Award and in 2009 was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame. He also received an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Jazz Artist; a Citizen of the Year Award from the Gateway Foundation in Chicago, IL; and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Illinois at Chicago; DePaul University in Chicago, IL; Loyola University in Chicago, IL; St. Xavier University in Chicago, IL; and from the University of South Carolina at Spartanburg. In 2002 he carried the Olympic Torch for the Ravinia segment during its journey to Salt Lake City for the Winter Games.
In 2006, Lewis created and syndicated a new show under the name Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis, which was broadcast on jazz radio stations across the country. The PBS television show of the same name was broadcast nationwide and featured live performances by a variety of jazz artists including Larry Gray, Lonnie Smith, Joey Defrancesco, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Kurt Elling, Benny Golson, Pat Metheny and Tony Bennett.
Long associated with the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, IL, Lewis has entrusted many premiers to musicians at Ravinia, and has been commissioned by the festival many times over. He has served as Artistic Director of Jazz at Ravinia since 1992, and as an Elected Lifetime Trustee of the festival since 2010. He is the Art Tatum Professor in Jazz Studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ramsey Lewis has been a Steinway Artist since 1964. He was managed by Steele Management.