WCL: Jazz Legend Ramsey Lewis

Iconic Jazz Legend Ramsey Lewis comes to WCL to talk about his life, love of music and the great work he's doing at Ravinia.

Learn about Ramsey's career at ramseylewis.com

Ravinia location, schedule and more at ravinia.org

Some tidbits from Ravinia about their Women's Board and Ramsey:

  • Women's Board founded in 1962 and three of those founding members are still involved.
  • 50th anniversary celebrations include a June 21 Gala benefit that has the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performing works that they performed at Ravinia in 1962.
  • The gala, themed "Leading Ladies" also stars Metropolitan Opera's leading soprano Patricia Racette and Broadway legend Patti LuPone sharing the stage for the first time.
  • The Women's Board's achievements include creating two best-selling cookbooks and starting the festival's REACH*TEACH*PLAY education programs, including the new "el sistema" orchestras in Chicago Public Schools.
  • They run Ravinia's gift shop and will start a new venture this summer to raise money for Ravinia of renting chairs and tables so people don't have to schlep their own picnic gear to the park.
  • Over the past 50 years, the Women's Board has become Ravinia's biggest supporter, donating more than $25 million to the not-for-profit festival.

  • Chicago legend Ramsey Lewis is Ravinia Festival's artistic director of jazz.
  • Like the Women's Board, Ramsey has been instrumental in forming Ravinia's education programs.
  • Ramsey made his Ravinia debut in 1966 and has appeared most every summer for the past five decades
  • He appears with his Electric Band, sharing the stage with Sergio Mendes on June 27 for a Latin jazz night.
  • There will be a 40x60 foot dance floor on the lawn that night, so guests can dance to the live performances.
  • The Women's Board will host a dance contest
  • There will also be a large video screen on the lawn broadcasting the concert live.
  • Ramsey Lewis is a Life Trustee of Ravinia Festival and has composed several original works commissioned by the festival including a major multi-media celebration of Abraham Lincoln.