ARIZONA MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT HALL OF FAME
"Inspiring the future by remembering the past"
 
Inductee Biography for CHARLES LEWIS


Charles LewisCharles Lewis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1933. He began performing on piano at church functions when he was only 7 years old. Some of his earliest musical influences include Oscar Peterson, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gelespie, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Nat King Cole.

Charles moved to Arizona in 1953 when he enrolled at Arizona State University. He began performing at the famous 7th Ave. Elks Club jams in 1954. He played with several bands before forming his own band, The Charles Lewis Quintet. He landed a gig at the Playboy Club in Phoenix in 1961.

He eventually began getting grants from major organizations to conduct workshops. He performed "self awareness through music" seminars for the Bureau of Indian affairs, the Dept. of Corrections and many other organizations. He's also done workshops on the relationship of music to colors, textures and linear shapes for the National Alliance for Arts Education. He has served on the Arizona Com. on the Arts, the Music advisory panel for the National endowment for the arts in Washington, DC and many other prestigious panels.

He teaches privately in the areas of jazz piano, harmony and theory, jazz improvisation and vocal performance. He considers his crowning achievements to be the work he's done doing musical workshops for children. He says he loves living in Arizona because of the peace he has found in the wide open spaces and the relatively slower pace of life in the desert.


 
     
 
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