Ramsey Lewis retiring after seven decades

Legendary pianist will play September farewell concert more than sixty years after first hit

Legendary pianist and funk fusion pioneer Ramsey Lewis has announced that he is to retire from music, saying that “it feels like the right time”. In a statement on his Facebook Page yesterday night, he insisted that his health was fine, but at nearly 83 “it has become more difficult to get from place to place”. 

Ramsey has been performing since he was a teenager. His first hit “The In Crowd” sold over a million copies in 1966. Through the 1970’s he formed a sensational partnership with Maurice White from Earth, Wind & Fire, resulting in his funky ‘Sun Goddess’ album which went to number 1 on the US Billboard Chart. He was a regular visitor to the UK, and in 2013 picked up the Gold Award at The Jazz FM Awards, recognising the outstanding contribution he has made to the genre. 

Lewis’s last public appearance will be a ‘farewell concert’ in his home city of Chicago on Saturday 1 September - a free performance which he says will allow him to truly express his gratitude. 

The full statement is available to read below:


 

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