Pianist, Composer Ramsey Lewis To Be Honored In Chicago

Ramsey Lewis
Jazz legend Ramsey Lewis talks to WBEZ's 'Morning Shift' about making music at 81 and why he initially didn't like the Beatles but eventually changed his mind. Andrew Gill / WBEZ
Ramsey Lewis
Jazz legend Ramsey Lewis talks to WBEZ's 'Morning Shift' about making music at 81 and why he initially didn't like the Beatles but eventually changed his mind. Andrew Gill / WBEZ

Pianist, Composer Ramsey Lewis To Be Honored In Chicago

A jazz pianist and composer is being honored with a lifetime achievement award on the occasion of African-American Heritage Month.

Chicago-born Ramsey Lewis is scheduled to receive the award Thursday. It will be presented by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White at the Thompson Center in Chicago.

The 83-year-old Lewis formed the Ramsey Lewis Trio early in his career and won several Grammy awards. He has recorded more than 80 albums and written pieces for string ensemble and orchestra. He received the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award in 2007.

Among others being honored Thursday will be Illinois’ lieutenant governor, Juliana Stratton, and Candice Payne. Payne is being recognized for her humanitarian efforts during the Arctic cold earlier this winter when she rented hotel rooms for the homeless.