North Central College - Naperville, IL

Legendary jazz artists Ramsey Lewis Trio perform Nov. 20

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Contact: Ted Slowik, Director of PR and Media Relations, 630-637-5307,

Sept. 23, 2010—A legendary jazz pianist and composer leads the namesake Ramsey Lewis Trio in a performance Nov. 20 in North Central College’s acoustically stunning Wentz Concert Hall.

Lewis’ reputation as “The Great Performer” reflects his ability to intertwine a love for gospel and jazz with classical training. As a native Chicagoan, Lewis epitomizes the musical diversity of Chicago. Lewis is set to perform with his trio, including Larry Gray on bass and Leon Joyce on drums, featuring songs from his latest album, “Songs from the Heart: Ramsey Plays Ramsey.”

The Ramsey Lewis Trio performance begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, in North Central's Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville. Tickets are $65 and $55; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

Lewis began studying piano at age 4 and, through the inspiration of Dorothy Mendelsohn, began learning Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and other classic composers. As a youth, Lewis heard the music of Duke Ellington and Art Tatum played on records in his home, and he first began performing jazz at age 15 when a fellow church musician, Wallace Burton, asked Lewis to join his ensemble, The Cleffs.

Lewis first captivated fans with his debut 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 such hits as “The In Crowd,” “Hang On Sloopy” and “Wade In The Water.”

Along with three Grammy Awards and seven gold records to his credit, Lewis also currently maintains the title of artistic director of jazz at the annual Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, where he has debuted a number of original large-scale musical works. Lewis also serves on the Board of Trustees for the Merit School of Music—an inner-city music program in Chicago—and is a member of Loyola University Council of Regents. Visit to learn more about the artist.

North Central College’s 2010-2011 Sesquicentennial Fine & Performing Arts Season is supported by a generous grant from the Illinois Arts Council and construction materials maker USG Corporation is an underwriting sponsor.

This performance is one of many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).