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News from the Jazz Hall

Organist Joey DeFrancesco dies at age 51 

Joey DeFrancesco sitting at the organ

Once hailed as “the greatest jazz organist on the planet” by JazzTimes, Joey DeFranceso died Aug. 25, 2022 at age 51.

Signed to Columbia Records at 16, DeFrancesco released his first album, “All of Me,” and joined Miles Davis on a five-week European tour at 17. That tour with Davis led to playing keyboards for Davis on the 1989 release, “Amandla.”


Pianist Ramsey Lewis dies at 87

Ramsey Lewis in front of piano

The musician had three Grammy awards, seven gold records and later, hosted his own radio and TV shows to his credit

Ramsey Lewis, the renowned jazz pianist whose music entertained fans over a more than 60-year career that began with the Ramsey Lewis Trio and made him one of the country’s most successful jazz musicians, has died. He was 87.

Lewis is revered in jazz circles for 1960s hits like “The In Crowd,” “Hang on Sloopy” and “Wade in the Water.” He earned three Grammy awards and seven gold records. The trio’s first record in 1956 was Ramsey Lewis and the Gentlemen of Swing.

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