Legendary jazz musician Ramsey Lewis, known for hits such as ‘The In Crowd’ and ‘Wade in the Water,’ passed away at the age of 87 at his home in Chicago.
According to Fox News, Jazz fans hold Lewis in high regard for songs from the 1960s like ‘The ‘In’ Crowd,’ ‘Hang on Sloopy,’ and ‘Wade in the Water.’
Three Grammys and seven gold records were earned by him. The group’s debut album, ‘Ramsey Lewis and the Gentlemen of Swing,’ was released in 1956.
Lewis died Monday in his sleep at his Chicago home, according to his son, Bobby Lewis. Lewis began learning the piano at the age of 4. His early years were spent in Chicago, where he used his background in gospel and classical music to forge his own jazz style in the countless local clubs that employed burgeoning jazz musicians.
“It gave us a lot of opportunity to try our ideas and learn what it means to perform in front of an audience,” Lewis said as he was named National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2007.
He went on a globe tour and gave a performance at the state dinner for President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil that was hosted by then-President Bill Clinton in 1995.
“I believe that my father — his love for the piano and his passion for the piano and how he coveted this love and how he protected it — that gave him longevity,” Bobby Lewis said.
Lewis spent the final year of his life working on his memoirs, which are finished and slated to be released next year, according to Brett Steele, whose Tampa, Florida-based Steele Management has represented Lewis since 2011.
In addition to his wife and son, Lewis is also survived by his daughters Denise Jeffries and Dawn Allain, his other sons Kendall Kelly Lewis and Frayne Lewis, as well as a large number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.