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Ramsey Lewis

Ramsey Lewis at home

Ramsey Lewis should run for president. He’s community-minded, interested in societal issues and he knows how to improvise-an important talent to have during those prickly summits with rival nations. Lewis has proven he can unite the people, too: His crossover LP The In Crowd sold big in the mid-1960s.

It would be tough keeping Lewis caged inside the Capital Beltway, though; he loves Chicago. With all the Chi-town spirit of a pennant-race-happy Harry Carey, the pianist asserts his hometown is exactly where it’s at. “This is probably the world’s greatest city,” he begins. “I’ll consider London; I’ll consider Paris; I’ll consider Rome and New York-well, those are great places to visit. But to live, Chicago’s it.” He cites the reasons why: the symphony, opera and ballet, the museums, restaurants and music-from gospel and blues to R&B and rock ‘n’ roll. “I don’t know why I even leave town.”

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