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Ramsey Lewis

series: Artist Toolbox

air date: 12/28/12 1:00 PM

"Jazz is an expression of the feeling that you have at that moment," says legendary jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis, discussing his art and playing in his Chicago recording studio. The always wise Lewis, with his firm roots in gospel and who studied classical from a young age, has released 80 jazz albums over a 50-year career, making a huge impact on the music world with classics such as "The In Crowd," "Hang On Sloopy" and "Wade in the Water." With such a varied musical experience, it's all about the feeling, expressing the moment. "You're always looking for that lost chord," says Lewis. "You never find it. But in looking for it, you find other things." That's jazz. His most successful album is SUN GODDESS, performed with Earth, Wind & Fire, and was his fourth amongst many to go gold. Having himself begun piano lessons at the early age of four, Lewis created the Ramsey Lewis Foundation in 2005 with the mission of bringing music to the lives of at-risk children. With his unique style of fusing his early gospel roots with funky riffs, Lewis is known as 'the great performer.' Find out why in this jazz lover's edition of The Artist Toolbox. "Never intellectually approach a piece of art," warns Lewis. "Art is the mainline to creativity. Creativity is everywhere."

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