Pianist Ramsey Lewis to tell his life story in new memoir

Grammy Award-winning pianist and NEA Jazz Master Ramsey Lewis will tell his life story in an upcoming memoir.

The book is scheduled to be published in October of 2023 by Blackstone Publishing. Lewis will co-write the book with award-winning jazz journalist and author Aaron Cohen.

“I would like to leave behind something that tells my story: who I am, where I’ve been, what I think, what I feel,” Lewis said in a statement. “Something for my kids, grandkids, great grandkids and everyone. So that 30 years from now people will say, ‘Let me check his book out, my mom and dad used to talk about him.’ Through this book, I would like readers to come away with how commitment and honesty are combined to make your life what you want it to be.”

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For 60 years, Ramsey Lewis has been one of the most popular pianists in jazz. He has more than 80 albums to his name and has regularly performed at some of the world’s largest and most prestigious concert halls and festivals. He’s a Top 10 hitmaker who has received five gold records and three Grammys, and he was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2007. Not only does his influence reach younger generations of jazz musicians, but the beats he created decades ago can also be heard across R&B and hip hop to this day.

Lewis’s memoir will describe how it all happened, beginning with how his hardworking family fostered his love of music and supported his earliest aspirations while he was growing up in his tight-knit Chicago neighbourhood. The book will tell the story behind his 1965 smash hit The In Crowd and the aftermath of its success, and it will cover his collaborations with stars like Stevie Wonder and his mentorship of musicians like Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire.

“I have been a fan of Ramsey’s music since I first heard his earliest recordings, and now that I know more about him, I have become a huge fan across all of his endeavours,” said publisher Rick Bleiweiss. “This is going to be a superb book laden with colourful anecdotes encompassing a plethora of celebrities and detailing Ramsey’s extraordinary life. I am so very pleased to have acquired it.”