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Charles Lewis hosts jazz concert at birthday celebration at The Nash

photo of Charles Smith
Born in Philadelphia in 1933, Mr. Lewis began performing on piano at church functions at seven years of age and went on to become a professional jazz musician. (File Photo/

Arizona jazz community celebrates Charles Lewis in late August

Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Arizona jazz community is announcing the 90th birthday celebration of jazz pianist Charles Lewis at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug 25, at The Nash, 110 E. Roosevelt St., where the Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame inductee will present a one-hour concert.

Joining Mr. Lewis will be jazz drummer, educator and recording artist Lewis Nash, Frank Smith (flute, sax), Joe Corral (flute), Dwight Killian (bass) and Steve Banks (percussion), according to a press release.

Pre-purchased tickets to the concert include a pre-concert birthday meet-and-greet that will start at 6 p.m.

After the concert and from 8:45 p.m.-10:15 p.m., venue doors will open to the community-at-large for a free birthday meet-and-greet that may include select remarks, comments, or presentations honoring the legendary Mr. Lewis. Pre-concert meet-and-greet and concert event tickets can be purchased online at

Tickets are not required for the post-concert, free community event. Gifts or donations to Mr. Lewis will be accepted at the event.

Born in Philadelphia in 1933, Mr. Lewis began performing on piano at church functions at seven years of age.

In 1953, Mr. Lewis moved to Arizona to attend Arizona State University (then Arizona State College) performing on piano, as well as in modern dance. A year later, he began playing in piano jam sessions at the famous 7th Ave. Elks Club. That same summer, he also travelled to New London, CT, to study modern dance with notables Martha Graham, Doris Humphrey and Jose Limon.

In 1961, Mr. Lewis formed The Charles Lewis Quintet where he regularly performed jazz at the Playboy Club in Phoenix. Then in 1974, he created The Charles Lewis Quintet, Plus One performing through Arizona.

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