May 22, 2015


The Arts

Ramsey Lewis enthralls audience at jazz fest

From gospel to John Coltrane to Stevie Wonder to himself, Ramsey Lewis played it all Friday night to an enthusiastic audience at the TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival.

The Chicago native, performing mainly on piano but also on Rhodes electric piano, had his audience from the first notes of the opening tune, Wade in the Water, one of his 1960s crossover hits. And he held their attention through 95 minutes of great music until he bookended his Burton Cummings Theatre show with the widely popular The In Crowd.

Ramsey Lewis

JAZZWINNIPEG.COM

Ramsey Lewis

There was a lot of gospel in the 77-year-old’s set list to get audience members swaying in their seats, and more than a dash of funk in Wonder’s Living For The City to get hands clapping and bums moving.

He took chestnuts like To Know Her is to Love Her and, with the help of guitarist Henry Johnson, gave it some new life and appeal. Johnson, another Chicagoan, played a key role in Lewis’s band, helping set the pace playing rhythm and taking tasteful, yet powerful solos throughout the night.

The music of John Coltrane made it into the mix as well, in a medley of the saxophonist’s Dear Lord and Lewis’s own composition, Blessings, with delightful piano solos and spare, tasteful accompaniment from band members Johnson, bassist Joshua Ramos, drummer Charles Heath and keyboard player Tim Gant.

Another ballad, Love Song, featured delicate piano work by Lewis augmented with some atmospheric playing by Gant. Brasilica, a Latin-tinged number was set up as a showcase for drummer Heath.

The band included Sun Goddess, the title tune from Lewis’s successful 1970s electric band album, before giving the audience what they had been waiting for all night, The In Crowd.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.

Mike Deal | @wfpmdeal

May 21 11:09 pm

Lots of smoke at the #whiskeydix fire… heard on the scanner that flames had been seen. I didn't see any… pic.twitter.com/33sifbSU2D

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 21 9:54 pm

Bombers great and NFL icon Bud Grant is having a garage sale, showcases goods on Twitter wfp.to/R8g

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 21 8:50 pm

Classes cancelled on Garden Hill First Nation after death of Teresa Robinson wfp.to/R82

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 21 8:12 pm

Province readying to unseal adoption records next month wfp.to/R8e

Winnipeg Free Press | @WinnipegNews

May 21 7:34 pm

'Use it or lose it' money rule hurts city wfp.to/R8F

Scroll down to load more

Top