Judy Lewis

b. Judy Levine, 19 February 1958, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. From age seven, Lewis studied classical piano, subsequently winning competitions throughout the Midwest. In New York City she continued with…
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Artist Biography

b. Judy Levine, 19 February 1958, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. From age seven, Lewis studied classical piano, subsequently winning competitions throughout the Midwest. In New York City she continued with her studies, now at Columbia University, but gradually moved from the study of music to the study of religion. When she was 20, she moved to Israel where she continued to perform while also searching for spiritual meaning in her life. Although successful as a performer, in 1981 she abandoned playing entirely to concentrate on spiritual matters and also married a fellow student. It was not until 1991, now the mother of four children, that Lewis began playing the piano again. In 1995, her marriage ended and she decided to return to a career in music. In addition to performing, Lewis had obtained the necessary qualifications at the Rubin Academy of Music in the 90s and was able to support herself and her children by teaching.

Although her abilities had not waned during the long lay off, Lewis was dissatisfied with the classical form and by the mid-90s had turned to jazz. The catalyst came in Los Angeles when for the first time she attended a jazz concert and she was soon practising extensively and familiarizing herself with the work of jazz pianists such as Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Tommy Flanagan, Red Garland and Keith Jarrett. She also began composing her own music, formed a group, the Back Alley Jazz Quintet, and made her jazz debut in 1996. By the following year, though, Lewis had brought the group down to a trio. Soon she had a strong reputation in Israel, something that was gradually expanded during the next few years through tours of Europe and appearances in the USA. In 2002 she released a solo set, Waiting On A New Day, and then, in 2003, formed a fusion band, Phoenix Over Manhattan, in which she played keyboards. At first electronic, 2004 found POM changing to an acoustic band and No Expectations was greeted warmly by critics.

Energetic, enthusiastic and determined, Lewis has brought to her concept of jazz a vibrancy that was welcomed by many for its contrast to the smooth jazz outpourings of the early 00s. Lewis also operates a recording company, Visionary Insomniac Records.