Eric Lewis channels the raw emotion of alternative rock into fiery, take-no-prisoners jazz piano arrangements. Before setting out to capture the voice of alt rock in the keys, he toured with the likes of music legends Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones.

Why you should listen

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.

What others say

"His playing was playful but also serious to a point of being spiritual." — Wynton Marsalis in the New York Times

Eric Lewis’ TED talks

Eric Lewis on the TED Blog
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TED2009

4 chances to see TED speakers live, this week and next

March 17, 2009

TEDIndia’s Lakshmi Pratury will be interviewing two TED speakers next week in the Bay Area: + March 30, 2009, hear TED2009 speaker Nandan Nilekani, the founder of Infosys and the author of Imagining India, at the Crowne Plaza Cabana in Palo Alto, 6:30-8pm. Tickets: $15 members, $25 nonmembers. Premium tickets (includes reception, book and priority […]

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Culture

A striking evolution in jazz: Exclusive interview with Eric Lewis

March 6, 2009

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 […]

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