Jazz pianist, three-time Grammy Award winner and NEA jazz maestro Ramsey Lewis has successfully transitioned from jazz to pop charts, primarily with his hit “The In Crowd,” in September He died peacefully at his home in Chicago on the morning of the 12th. He is 87 years old.
“Ramsay’s passion for music is truly met with love and dedication from fans around the world. He loves touring and meeting music lovers from different cultures and areas of life. In this special way with all those who admire his God-given talent Sharing Ramsay has been a great joy for our family. We are forever grateful for your support.”
Lewis is the Artistic Director of Ravinia Jazz, the annual show at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois, and has helped organize Ravinia’s Jazz Mentor Program.
Ramsay also serves on the boards of the Merit School of Music, a downtown Chicago music program, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (founded in 2009). In early 2005, the Ramsay Lewis Foundation was established to help at-risk children enter the world of music. As a branch of the foundation, Lewis plans to start a youth choir and orchestra.
In January 2007, the Dave Brubaker Institute invited Lewis to join the Honorary Committee of Friends of Pacific University in Stockton, California. Lewis is an honorary member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra. Lewis is a member of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. In May 2008, Lewis received an honorary doctorate from Loyola University Chicago after delivering the keynote address at the undergraduate commencement ceremony.
Lewis died at his home in Chicago on September 12, 2022. He is 87 years old.