New York native, keyboardist Greg Lewis, a highly accomplished mainstay on the city's jazz, blues and funk scenes, who has earned a solid reputation for his versatile work around town in a vast variety of settings, steps out front for the first time on his debut CD Organ Monk. Lewis' sensitive and soulful keyboard playing has made him a favorite among some of the music's finest vocalists - including blues queen Sweet Georgia Brown, jazz and soul songstress, Lezlie Harrison and ex-Brooklyn Funk Essentials singer / songwriter Stephanie McKay -- and earned him a featured role on saxophonist Sam Newsome's Groove Project recording 24/7.
Now on Organ Monk the spotlight is finally shined on his enormous talents as the leader of his own all-star trio featuring multitalented guitarist Ron Jackson and drummer extraordinaire Cindy Blackman.
Born into a musical family, Lewis' introduction to jazz came from hearing Monk records from the collection his late father, pianist David Lewis, who was a dedicated fan of Thelonious. It all started there, the younger Lewis proclaims, also naming unsung master Elmo Hope as a major influence. Lewis started his own piano studies at the age of eleven and began playing professionally around New York as a teenager. He credits jazz legend Gil Coggins, who sent him as a sub one night to a gig where there was a Hammond B-3, for setting him on the path to becoming a bona fide organist. These days Lewis has so devoted himself to mastering the difficult instrument with such fervor that he considers himself to be an organ monk.