Chicago Jazz Legend Ramsey Lewis Has Died

The legendary pianist was 87 years old.

While death is inevitably a part of life, that truth doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye to those who have died. So far in 2022, we’ve had to say goodbye to some notable Black people. More than an important role model, the world has lost a changemaker who transcended his field and remained relevant over the decades.


We join a handful of reliable sources in confirming the death of Chicago jazz legend Ramsey Lewis. He was 87 years old.

Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey gave a touching tribute on social media (seen above), writing, “Long Live the Legendary Ramsey Lewis… Our Great Friend and Jazz Icon.” He continued by adding, “You will be sorely missed, and always remembered. God Bless and Keep you.”

Lewis, a Chi-Town native to the very end, mastered his skills on the piano beginning at the age of four. By 31, he’d developed into one of the most respected jazz pianists of the late ’60s and continued to remain just that until death. He even became a radio icon with the introduction of his Legends of Jazz show in 1990, which translated even better on television years later.


More on his iconic life here on earth below, via the Chicago Sun-Times:


“Among the honors he received over his long career were three Grammys and a 2007 National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award.
His first band, the Clefs, evolved from a college group he joined as a freshman at Wells High School. Three of the Clefs — Lewis, bassist Eldee Young, and drummer Redd Holt — later became what would become known as the classic Ramsey Lewis Trio.
His first band, the Clefs, evolved from a college group he joined as a freshman at Wells High School. Three of the Clefs — Lewis, bassist Eldee Young, and drummer Redd Holt — later became what would become known as the classic Ramsey Lewis Trio."

A post from his official Facebook page confirmed that Ramsey Lewis died “peacefully at his home in Chicago” earlier this morning (Sept. 12).


“Ramsey’s passion for music was truly fueled by the love and dedication of his fans across the globe. He loved touring and meeting music lovers from so many cultures and walks of life,” his wife said in the Facebook post. “It was our family’s great pleasure to share Ramsey in this special way with all those who admired his God-given talents. We are forever grateful for your support.”

We send our deepest condolences to his family and those grieving along with jazz fans worldwide.


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