HELLO AMERICA!—When John Lewis, a youngster growing up outside of Philadelphia, in the small suburb of Morton, Pennsylvania, he was fascinated by the sound of the early morning train which woke up their small community exactly 5:30 a.m. making its way to the big city of Philly.
“To me,” he explained, “the sound represented words that I somehow understood as if it was in English, so clear and it made quite an impression on me. This was such a daily routine in my young life, I looked forward [to] hearing the train each morning, and somehow each morning I seem to get a new message every single time. To me, that train was communicating with me. I would get up, prepare for school feeling as if I had my instructions for the day. It was amazing, but that train connected with me and it gave me some kind of positive hope for whatever I might confront. I know that sounds spooky but it’s true.”
John believes his attraction to “sound” was the reason he was drawn to playing the drums. “When I convinced my folks to buy me a set of drums, my life really turned around. That was all I thought about all day at school and couldn’t wait to get home to pound on them. I know I must have everybody nuts but they seemed to understand and tolerate all the odd noises and rhythms I experienced with. And there were times when my Mom would poke her head in my room and smile, letting me know that I was getting better. She was always counted on for inspiration. She always reminded me that in order to command something in the arts, one has to constantly prepare, practice and practice.”
Then when he discovered his affinity to the piano, his world of sound was amplified with the sound of music with all its moods and shadings which create images, exploring hidden human emotions and Psychic-type locked doors of the mind. “Every note I play,” John explained, “is a vital step in the journey of intellectual sound perfection.”
The John Lewis Sound obviously has connected because his music has and is being heard via recordings, concerts, and tours throughout the world. He has concertized with the likes of Max Roach, Rashied Ali, Ron Burton, Roy Ayers, Chris White, Rod and Airrion Jacobs and Eddie Jefferson to name a few jazz greats.
Lewis admits that he is obsessed with his music passion.
“It’s something I was born to explore as a life’s journey and I’m enjoying every moment of it. I’m extremely lucky to have a life mate with my beautiful wife, Jennifer who understands who and what makes me survive each day I wake up in the morning.”
John Lewis is preparing a possible major concert in Africa next year.
“We have been receiving invitations almost monthly begging us to bring our jazz sound to that continent. So we are exploring the possibility very seriously. Why not, let’s face it music is a powerful force for understanding and, yes, peace.”