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Ramsey Lewis
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    (May 27, 1935- )
    Born in Chicago, Illinois
    Jazz pianist
    Recorded the albums ‘The Sound of Christmas’ (1961), ‘The In Crowd’ (1965), ‘Hang on Ramsey!’ (1965), ‘Wade in the Water’ (1966), and ‘Sun Goddess’ (1974)
    Recorded the singles ‘The In Crowd’ (1965), ‘Hang On Sloopy’ (1965), and ‘Wade in the Water’ (1966)
    Hosts the syndicated radio program ‘Legends of Jazz’
    He dropped out of college to get married.
    He drew flak from jazz purists for covering pop songs.
    He admitted that despite covering Beatles songs ‘I didn’t really get them.’
    He announced his retirement from live performances (2018), then changed his mind after three weeks. (‘It got boring.’)
    Maurice White was his drummer before forming Earth, Wind and Fire.
    He is a rare breed: a jazz musician who crossed over multiple times to the pop charts.
    He earned seven gold records and three Grammy Awards.
    He wrote a jazz ballet for the Joffrey Ballet (2007).
    He was named an NEA Jazz Master (2007).
    Landmarks Illinois named him one the state’s ‘living treasures.’ (2007)

Credit: C. Fishel

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