“His playing was playful but also serious to a point of being spiritual.”
Not without a struggle (and a measure of healthy angst), acclaimed pianist Eric Lewis is driving the next evolution of jazz — forging new musical alloys of classic blue note scuttles, delicate improvisations and heady alt rock hooks. Now, with a roster of sold-out shows and a growing list of celebrity supporters, his iconoclastic arrangements are fast catching insular music communities' attention. His possessed, finger-bloodying performances have erased a few old taboos, too: Miles Davis and Linkin Park suddenly seem less dissimilar.
Before discovering this latent passion for pop and rock music, Lewis has been the must-watch up-and-comer on the jazz circuit, playing with Elvin Jones, Roy Hargrove, Cassandra Wilson and Wynton Marsalis before winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, the world's largest.