“Pizzarelli remains a master of Nat King Cole cool, swinging such standards as ‘Just In Time.’”
-THE SEATTLE TIMES
“It’s a mark of how much Lewis understands what people want from a piece of music that he remains one of jazz’s most broadly popular figures, yet still holds on to an unshakeable degree of
Ramsey Lewis, piano
John Pizzarelli, guitar & vocals
Other musicians, TBA
Nat King Cole broke the pop barrier with his smoky, smooth vocals, stringing along a huge number of solid hits right after his first “Straighten Up And Fly Right” soared up the charts in 1943. As a singer, he was called “the best friend a song ever had,” but he was essentially a jazz performer at heart. Even those later tracks crafted for the pop charts belie a piano technique, vocal phrasings, and on-the-mark orchestration that are indebted to his early roots in jazz. RAMSEY LEWIS and JOHN PIZZARELLI have crafted a tribute to the titan of fifties vocal pop, from his hits along with those singular tracks of sophisticated cool jazz that have influenced their own careers.
JOHN PIZZARELLI, the world-renowned jazz guitarist and singer, was called “Hip with a wink” by Town & Country, “madly creative” by the Los Angeles Times and “the genial genius of the guitar” by The Toronto Star. When he performs with his wife, singer/actress Jessica Molaskey, and his father, guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, they were labeled “the First Family of Cool” by the San Francisco Chronicle and “the von Trapps on Martinis” by The New Yorker. According to The New York Times, “the Pizzarelli-Molaskey duo are as good as it gets in any entertainment medium.”
Composer, pianist and jazz legend RAMSEY LEWIS has been referred to as “the great performer,” a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections which display his early gospel playing and classical training along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. A native Chicagoan (born May 27, 1935), Mr. Lewis represents the great diversity of music for which Chicago is noted. Ramsey Lewis first captivated fans with his first album “Ramsey Lewis And The Gentlemen of Swing” by the Ramsey Lewis Trio in 1956. By 1965, he was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with “The In Crowd,” “Hang On Sloopy” and “Wade In The Water.” He has three Grammy Awards and seven gold records to his credit. Often called legendary, Mr. Lewis concedes “It’s a high honor when someone says so, but I don’t see myself that way. What keeps me enthusiastic and energizes me, is the realization that the more I learn, the more I find there is to know.” He received the industry award for the 2006 Stellar Award for Best Gospel Instrumental Album, “With One Voice” presented in January 2007. He was also the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award in January 2007. Mr. Lewis has received four (4) honorary doctorate degrees and numerous other accolades. Ramsey Lewis began taking piano lessons at the age of four, studying the basics and fundamentals. But, “It wasn’t until I started studying with the late Dorothy Mendelsohn that I responded to some of the startling things she was teaching me, such as Listen with your inner ear,’ and ‘Make the piano sing.’ These concepts were revelations!” Soon after, he began learning Bach, Beethoven, Hadyn, Brahms and Chopin, and other basic piano repertoire for the concert pianist.
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