Ramsey Lewis on his most influential teacher

Now, A Jazz Moment...

MUSIC: "Limelight" CD: Ramsey Lewis's Finest Hour,Verve 314 543 763-2 (cut 2)

Most musicians can point to at least one pivotal person who was instrumental in their musical development. 2007 NEA Jazz Master Ramsey Lewis remembers...

Ramsey Lewis: Dorothy Mendelssohn was the piano teacher at Chicago Musical College. And after a few lessons she started saying things about music. Things like, "Listen with your inner ear." Things like, "Take this phrase, this 3-bar phrase of melody and see if you can't make it sing." That was a turning point.

MUSIC: up for punctuation and fades under

It went from my parents actually making me practice a half hour. Making me. To them saying 10:30, 11:00 at night, "You've been at it for two-three-four hours. Don't you have homework? Don't you have to go to bed? You better stop now." I found myself in another world.

MUSIC: up and fades

This Jazz Moment with pianist Ramsey Lewis was created by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ramsey Lewis on his most influential teacher