JAZZ LEGEND RAMSEY LEWIS BRINGS 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION OF "THE 'IN' CROWD" AND "HANG ON RAMSEY" TO NASHVILLE
Tickets on sale now at TPAC.org
NASHVILLE – Ramsey Lewis, the iconic jazz great and National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award winner, brings his 50th Anniversary performance of “The ‘In’ Crowd” and “Hang on Ramsey” to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s James K. Polk Theater on Saturday, April 25 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets are on sale now at TPAC.org, by phone at (615) 782-4040, and at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick Street, in downtown Nashville.
Lewis has been an iconic leader in the contemporary jazz movement for over 50 years, with an unforgettable sound and outgoing personality that has allowed him to cross over to the pop and R&B charts.
The Ramsey Lewis Trio, with bassist Eldee Young and percussionist Redd Holt, became a fixture on the Chicago jazz scene, releasing their debut album, “Ramsey Lewis & His Gentlemen of Jazz,” back in 1956.
Lewis earned his first gold record, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance, for their swinging version of “The ‘In’ Crowd.” He returned to the pop charts in 1966 with versions of “Hang On Sloopy” and “Wade In The Water" from his follow up record "Hang On Ramsey.”
After Young and Holt left the trio to form their own group, the pianist hired a new rhythm section with Cleveland Eaton on bass and Maurice White on drums. When White left the band to form Earth, Wind and Fire, Morris Jennings signed on as the trio’s new percussionist. White returned to produce Lewis’ 1974 smash album entitled “Sun Goddess,” in which Lewis first experimented with electronic keyboards and featured Earth, Wind and Fire on the album.
Throughout his illustrious career, Lewis also has joined forces with countless other artists to create new and innovative music. In 1984, he collaborated with Nancy Wilson on “The Two of Us;” in 1988, he recorded with London’s Philharmonic Orchestra for the album “A Classic Encounter;” and in 1989, Lewis and Dr. Billy Taylor cut a set of piano duets in “We Meet Again."
In 1995, Lewis launched the side project Urban Knights, in which he collaborated with a handful of successful crossover jazz stars, including Grover Washington, Jr., Earl Klugh, and Dave Koz. In 1997, Lewis added disc jockey to his resume, hosting a popular show on Chicago’s WNUA-FM that ran until 2009. A new show was syndicated in 2006 under the name Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis and was broadcast on jazz radio stations across the country. In 2006, a well-received 13-episode Legends of Jazz television series hosted by Lewis was broadcast by PBS on public TV 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. Recently he has been touring with Philip Bailey from Earth, Wind and Fire as well as John Pizzarelli.
After having played mostly in an acoustic trio for the last 15 years, Lewis’ latest endeavor has him returning to his electric roots. The three-time Grammy® Award winner will release “Ramsey, Taking Another Look – Deluxe” later this year on his new Sony/RED distributed label "Ramsey's House.” On the album, Lewis rekindles his 1974 career-defining album “Sun Goddess” through a collection of re-recorded tracks from the original disc perfectly balanced with five new tunes. “Jungle Strut” has all the attitude of its 1974 original and Lewis makes magic on the Fender Rhodes in “Tambura.” And rather than re-recording the title track “Sun Goddess”, Lewis has beautifully re-edited the original studio recording featuring Earth, Wind and Fire. Lewis and his Electric Band breathe new life into classic covers, such as the new high-octane rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Living for the City” and a tender interpretation of the timeless “Betcha By Golly Wow.”
The album also features bonus tracks by Dr. John who brings his New Orleans funk to his rendition of "Jungle Strut" and the up and coming jazz influenced jam bands TAUK and Kung Fu.