Ramsey Lewis Passed Away- Cause of Death

Ramsey Lewis death and obituary

The Chicago’s brightest shining star, Ramsey Lewis passed away aged 87. His contribution to music is unsurpassed. With incredible music like “Wade In The Water” in the 60’s, “Sun Goddess” & “Tequila Mockingbird” in the 70’s, his partnership with Charles Stepney well into the 80’s, and his continued works with Dianne Reeves, Larry Dunn, Maurice White and Nancy Wilson into the new millennium, Ramsey revelled in music!

Ramsey Lewis cause of death

His death was announced by his manager, Brett Steele, who cited “natural causes”.  We pray that may God grants those mourning this death and courage to carry on. Losing a beloved one is one of the most difficult feelings on earth. Our thoughts and prayers are with those passing through a difficult time, caused by this death.

Ramsey Lewis life

Ramsey Lewis was born in Chicago, Illinois,  to Ramsey Lewis Sr. and Pauline Lewis. He began taking piano lessons at the age of four. As a young man, Lewis played with a number of local ensembles. Lewis would eventually join a jazz group called the clefs. He later formed the Ramsey Lewis Trio. They eventually joined up with Chess Records.

In 1956, the trio issued their debut album, Ramsey Lewis and his Gentlemen of Swing. Following their 1965 hit “The In Crowd” (the single reached No. 5 on the pop charts, and the album No. 2) they concentrated more on pop material.

By 1966, Lewis was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists, having topped the charts with “The In Crowd”, “Hang On Sloopy”, and “Wade in the water”. All three singles each sold over one million copies and were awarded gold discs. Many of his recordings attracted a large non-jazz audience. In the 1970s, Lewis often played electric piano, although by later in the decade he was sticking to acoustic and using an additional keyboardist in his groups.

In 2006, a well-received 13-episode Legends of Jazz television series hosted by Lewis was broadcast on public TV nationwide and featured live performances by a variety of jazz artists.

Lewis was artistic director of Jazz at Ravinia (an annual feature at the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois) and helped organize Ravinia’s Jazz Mentor Program. Ramsey also served on the board of trustees for the Merit School of Music, a Chicago inner-city music program and The Chicago High School for the Arts, the public arts high school in Chicago established in 2009. Early in 2005, the Ramsey Lewis Foundation was created to help connect at-risk children to the world of music. As an offshoot of that foundation, Lewis planned to form a Youth Choir and Youth Orchestra. In January 2007, the  Dave  Brubeck Institute invited Lewis to join its Honorary Board of Friends at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Lewis was an Honorary Board member of the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, was also a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. In May 2008, Lewis received an honorary doctorate from Loyola University Chicago upon delivering the keynote address at the undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Lewis died on September 12, 2022, at his home in Chicago. He was 87 years old. Lewis is survived by his wife, Janet Lewis, daughters Denise Jefferies and Dawn Allain, sons Bobby Lewis, Kendall Kelly Lewis and Frayne Lewis, and his grandchildren plus great-grandchildren.

Ramsey Lewis funeral arrangement

Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced, it goes without saying that the family is dealing with devastating loss and could use your support. On behalf of the family, we are asking for your prayers, love and support during this difficult and painful time for them.


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