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“Tribute to Ramsey Lewis: Gentleman of Jazz” - June 22nd at Millennium Park

Ramsey Lewis
Ramsey Lewis

The City of Chicago and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) celebrate the first concert of the 10-part, free Millennium Park Summer Music Series with the “Tribute to Ramsey Lewis: A Gentleman of Jazz” concert, Thursday, June 22 at 6:30pm at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion (gates open at 5pm). Celebrating the legacy of one of the most iconic jazz pianists of all time, the evening features performances by Orbert Davis, The Urban Knights, Donald Lawrence & The Co., The Ramsey Lewis Legacy Band, Monty Alexander Trio featuring Steve Jordan, Thaddeus Tukes Trio, Santita Jackson, and more. Orbert Davis presents a special string arrangement of Lewis’s iconic work, Les Fleur. The concert is hosted by Mark Ruffin of Sirius XM’s Real Jazz.

Also on June 22, guests can enjoy a free pre-show event, “Panel Discussion: Ramsey Lewis: Gentleman of Jazz,” from 4:30pm – 5:30pm at the Chicago Cultural Center. The panel features a 45-minute discussion with Moderator and Program Director of Real Jazz, Sirius XM’s Mark Ruffin, family members Frayne Lewis and Robert Lewis, Author Aaron Cohen, Columbia College Chicago Professor of Instruction Scott Hall, and Musician Henry Johnson. The panel will be sharing stories and discussing the indelible impact of Lewis’s life and work and will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session. The discussion takes place in the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater (2nd floor).

More information on the concert and panel discussion at

Ramsey Lewis (1935–2022) was one of the most prolific jazz pianists of all time, with more than eighty albums to his name. A National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, Top 10 hitmaker, and winner of three Grammys, Lewis also hosted popular television and radio shows that honored the history of jazz music. He was not only influential for many modern jazz artists but compositions he created decades ago have been sampled and can be heard across R&B and hip-hop. Through it all, Lewis remained grounded, never leaving behind his roots in Chicago.

The “Tribute to Ramsey Lewis” concert is supported by 90.9fm WDCB and the South Side Jazz Coalition.

The popular Millennium Park Summer Music Series (select Mondays and Thursdays, June 22 – August 21) features some of the biggest names in music throughout the summer on the Jay Pritzker Stage. Following the Tribute to Ramsey Lewis (June 22) is Eddie Palmieri Salsa Orchestra (June 26, 6:30pm); Big Freedia (July 13, 6:30pm), Yemi Alade (July 17, 6:30pm); Stephen Marley (July 20, 6:30pm); Kurt Vile and the Violators (July 24, 6:30pm); Shemekia Copeland (July 31, 6:30pm) and more. Access the full Music Series schedule at


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