Ramsey Lewis has been referred to as ‘the great performer,’ a title reflecting his performance style and musical selections that display his early gospel playing and classical training along with his love of jazz and other musical forms. A native Chicagoan born May 27, 1935, Lewis represents the great diversity of music for which Chicago is noted. Lewis first captivated fans with his debut album Ramsey Lewis and The Gentlemen of Swing by the Ramsey Lewis Trio in 1956. By 1965, he was one of the nation’s most successful jazz pianists, topping the charts with ‘The In Crowd,’ ‘Hang On Sloopy’ and ‘Wade In The Water.’ With more than 80 albums on his discography, Lewis is the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Award, four honorary doctorate degrees and numerous other accolades including seven gold records and three Grammy Awards.
Scott Hall has carried on the tradition of collegiate jazz through directing the Columbia College Jazz Ensemble, which has been applauded at the Vicenza Jazz Festival in Italy, Notre Dame Jazz Festival, Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, Jazz Unites, Inc., Duke Ellington Tribute Concert, and many venues around Chicago. His debut album, Strength in Numbers, received critical acclaim and airplay on jazz radio stations around the world. As a graduate jazz composition major at DePaul University, he received awards from the National Association of Recording Arts and Sciences and DownBeat magazine for his work as a jazz arranger. This led him to being an active composer and arranger in the Chicago area. Hall has performed in major musical capitals around the world and has worked with such jazz greats as Jon Faddis, Mel Torme, Kurt Elling, Benny Carter, Joe Lovano, Lennie Niehaus, Lester Bowie, Roy Hargrove, Marcus Belgrave, Cedar Walton, Dr. Billy Taylor, Johnny Griffin. He is currently director of jazz studies at Columbia College in Chicago.
An Emmy award-winning producer specializing in national music and entertainment programming, Ms. Ferri currently serves as Executive Producer of ‘Soundstage,’ the national PBS HD music series showcasing both classic and upcoming artists. In addition to ‘Proclamation of Hope,’ she produced the international HD music special shot on Masada in Israel--’David Broza at Masada: A Sunrise Concert with Jackson Browne and Shawn Colvin.’ She developed and produced the national HD jazz series ‘Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis,’ and was the Series Producer for ‘Network Chicago Presents,’ an eclectic music and dance series. Ms. Ferri has received critical acclaim and awards for a diverse body of work, including Emmy Awards for the public affairs documentary, ‘Words on Work,’ the world music program, ‘World Stage Chicago’, the music special ‘Centerstage,’ and ‘Trinity Irish Dance Company: One Step Beyond. ‘Other innovative projects include the docu-drama hosted by Ellen Burstyn, ‘The House That Jane Built,’ on the life of social reformer Jane Addams, the PBS documentary, ‘Doris Day: A Sentimental Journey,’ and ‘Musica,’ the high definition Latin music special with renowned conductor Daniel Barenboim and The Chicago Symphony Orchestra. And for six seasons, Ms. Ferri produced the national movie review series, ‘Sneak Previews.’
Steve Purcell, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning producer, director and editor. His credits include concert films, music videos, TV music specials as well as feature films. Productions include Paul McCartney’s ‘Get Back,’ B.B. King’s ‘The Blues Summit,’ Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill-Live’ and Prince’s ‘Sign O’ the Times.’ He has also worked with John Lennon, Rod Stewart, David Bowie, ZZ Top, Van Halen and Yanni. In addition to music, Purcell has worked with Johnny Carson, Martha Stewart, Paula Abdul, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jillian Michaels on movies and television specials. Purcell’s current clients include Paramount, Disney, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and Time Life. In 1989, Purcell established SLP Productions, Inc. which is a full service production/postproduction company based in Los Angeles. He is also an active member of the Directors Guild of America.
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Established in 1904, Ravinia is North America’s oldest and most programmatically diverse music festival. Located about 20 miles north of Chicago, Ravinia attracts 600,000 visitors every summer to more than 100 concerts of the highest quality in several genres, including the annual summer residency of the great Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Over its long and varied history, Ravinia has presented performances by everyone from Janis Joplin to George Gershwin. In addition Ravinia is dedicated to music education through its REACH*TEACH*PLAY programs in public schools and under-served communities and through its summer music conservatory for young professionals, The Steans Music Institute. www.ravinia.org
Founded in 1958, AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50 and over improve the quality of their lives. AARP has offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As a social welfare organization, as well as, the nation’s largest membership organization for people 50+, AARP is leading a revolution in the way people view and live life after 50.
Frances J. Harth
Darren Larson, EIC
Tim McCann, Maintenance
John Doherty, Driver
Bob Flapper, Driver
Leon Joyce, Jr.
National Archives and Records Administration
Library of Congress
Renaissance Washington, DC
Dupont Circle Hotel
Ramsey Lewis and
WTTW National Productions
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This program was produced by Window to the World Communications, Inc. and Ramsey Lewis which is solely responsible for its content.