Weary of the rigors of traveling, pianist Ramsey Lewis made the decision to “retire” in 2018. Some misinterpreted his stay-at-home policy as a retirement from playing music. And when the NEA Jazz Master performed a mini-Ramsey Lewis fest at Ravinia, near his home in Chicago, in 2019, people wondered if he was like one of those classic rock bands that call it quits forever, only to do a worldwide tour a few years later. However, as he told the Chicago Tribune’s Howard Reich at that time, “I’m retired from O’Hare.” In fact, Lewis continues to perform but has been doing the concerts from his home, a practice that started even before the pandemic. Last year he launched a concert series called Saturday Salon with a monthly performance from his home.
“Throughout my career people have always been there to help me,” he says. “Now that I’ve retired from touring, my wife Jan and I thought since I’m still playing every day anyway, why not share it with my fans and help those in need?” A portion of the proceeds from each performance will benefit the Jazz Foundation of America, an organization focused on aiding jazz musicians who are struggling financially. The shows take place on the last Saturday of every month at 2 p.m. ET. The second season of Saturday Salon kicks off Jan. 30 with a theme of “Love Notes,” dedicated to his love of music and his wife. Below is a complete list of the shows and themes for the year.
Tickets for the performances are $20 per show and are on sale at StageIt.com/RamseyLewis. Season passes are also available for purchase until Jan. 30 for $200.
2021 Schedule of Ramsey Lewis Saturday Salon Shows
January 30: Love Notes
February 27: West Side Story and Other Stories of Love
March 27: Most Requested Songs
April 24: Songs from The In Crowd
May 29: The Incurable Romantic
June 26: Songs from Black Orpheus and Other Movie Themes
July 31: The Beatles Songbook Volume II
August 28: Funky Serenity
September 25: An Hour With Ramsey Lewis
October 30: In Love With Love
November 27: Frankly Sentimental
December 24 (special Friday edition): More Sounds of Christmas