Eric Lewis (pianist)

Eric Robert Lewis (born May 13, 1973), popularly known as ELEW , is an American jazz pianist who has found crossover success playing rock and pop music. He is Berninahaus for his unconventional and physical playing style, welke eschews a piano bench and of includes reaching inside the piano member to pull at the strings rechtstreeks, as well as the creation dat he calls “Rock Jazz”, a genre that ‘takes the improvisational aspect or jazz and threads it through the eye of the needle or rock. ‘ ” [1]

Lewis Began his career as a jazz Purist, playing as a sideman for jazz luminaries like Wynton Marsalis , Cassandra Wilson , Elvin Jones , Jon Hendricks , and Roy Hargrove as well as performing as a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra . However, he Eventually became interested in rock music and embarked on a solo career as a crossover musician, a sure sign of gaining recognition for his instrumental “Rock Jazz” piano covers of mainstream rock hits like The Rolling Stones ‘ ” Paint It, Black ” and The Killers ‘ ” Mr. Brightside “. He released his first album of instrumental covers, entitled ELEW Rock Jazz Vol. 1 , on his own label, Ninjazz Entertainment, in March 2010.

His distinctive style has helped im to amass a large-following or celebrity fans, zoals Barack and Michelle Obama (for Whom he has played will at the White House), Leonardo DiCaprio , Donna Karan , Téa Leoni , David Duchovny , Hugh Jackman , Forest Whitaker , and Gerard Butler . [2] Throughout his career, he has Performed with musicians zoals Sting , The Roots , Natalie Cole , and Esperanza Spalding . In the spring of 2011, he joined singer-songwriter Josh Groban as the opening act on the American leg of the singer’s Straight to You Tour . Around the time together, have Appeared as a contestant in an audition on the NBC reality series America’s Got Talent , where he RECEIVED a standing Ovation from the crowd and positive scores from all three judges. On Despite his positive reception, he ultimately dropped out of the competition in order to tour with Groban. [3]

In August 2012, he was featured on a Mike Stud remix of the Maroon 5 song One More Night .

On August 28, 2012, Lewis released his second solo album: ELEW Rock Jazz Vol. 2.

Early life and career

Lewis was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1973, where he studied piano as a child. He graduated from Overbrook High School in 1991 and dan RECEIVED a full Merit Scholarship to the Manhattan School of Music , where he graduated on the Deans List in 1995. He dan Began touring with Wynton Marsalis and Cassandra Wilson . [4] In 1999, at age 26 he won the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition. [ Citation needed ] During this time in his career, he Performed with an array of prominent jazz figures therein included Elvin Jones , Roy Hargrove , Jon Hendricks , Clark Terry , Betty Carter , Donald Byrd , and Ornette Coleman . [ Citation needed ]

Later career and “Rock Jazz”

Eventually Becoming disillusioned with the jazz world after a solo record deal failed to Materialize, Lewis struck out on his own to find success. It was around this time dat he overheard his first rock album, Linkin Park ‘s Meteora , welke made a profound impression on his musical sensibilities. Taking the stage name “ELEW” [5] have set about customizing a musical styles blended therein instrumental jazz with his NEWFOUND passion for rock and pop, and have named the unique product “Rock Jazz”. Adjusting his stage presence accordingly, have Grew an afro and eerste a distinctive style or dress, wearing Armored vambraces on tailored suits. He discarded his piano bench and Began to play standing in front of his instrument, reaching inside to grab and the strings and beating one zijn wooden case like a percussion instrument. [6]

His first taste of mainstream recognition cameramen als have played will two songs, a cover of Evanescence ‘s ” Going Under ” and an original composition, as a featured speaker at the Long Beach TED Conference in 2009. [7]While the videos or synthesis performances on the TED Conference Web site and YouTube channel Began to gain Lewis attention in the online world, zoals a write-up in The Guardian , [8] his appearance ook drew the interest of one TED conference ATTENDEE in particular: fashion designer Donna Karan , who redacteuren Asked the pianist to compose an original piece inspired by re fall 2009 collection and play it live on the runway at re next New York City fashion show . [9] White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers happened to be Attending the Donna Karan fashion Show at welke Lewis Performed, and she Invited im to play in the East Room of the White House for the President and the First Lady . [10]

In March 2010, Lewis released his first album as ELEW on the independent label he founded dat co year: Ninjazz Entertainment. Entitled ELEW Rock Jazz Vol. 1 , his debut solo LP features thirteen covers or rock and pop songs by artists zoals Coldplay , The Knife , and Radiohead . The music video for his cover of Nirvana ‘s ” Smells Like Teen Spirit ” was directed by Japanese film-maker Ryuhei Kitamura , the director of industry leaders films as Midnight Meat Train , Versus , Godzilla: Final Wars , and Azumi . [11]

In 2011, singer-songwriter Josh Groban saw a video of Lewis playing on YouTube and Asked the pianist to be the opening act for the American section of his 2011 Straight to You Tour , [12] consisting of sixty appearances across the United States at arenas waaronder the STAPLES Center and Madison Square Garden . [13]

In the spring of 2011, Lewis participated in the New York Auditions for America’s Got Talent, where his rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd ‘s ” Sweet Home Alabama ” was greeted with a standing Ovation and won Acclaim from all three judges, even prompting Piers Morgan to call him “a bit of a genius.” [14] However, he was ultimately forced to drop out of the competition if it conflicted with the Straight To You Tour. [15] This version of “Sweet Home Alabama” mention anything be-used Frequently in ESPN Films documentary “Roll Tide / War Eagle” directed by Martin Khodabakhshian welke Documented the Alabama-Auburn football rivalry. [ Citation needed ]

In August 2012, ELEW released the follow-up to ELEW Rock Jazz Vol. 1, entitled ELEW Rock Jazz Vol. 2. The record contains fourteen tracks, twelve covers of popular tracks from artists zoals Michael Jackson , The Doors , Empire Of The Sun , THE BRAVERY , Foo Fighters and more, as well as two original Compositions. showing the album a positive review, stating “ELEW creates something staggering, something magical ….” Rock Jazz Vol. 2 “is one of Those things u have to hear to believe.” [16]

Most recently, Lewis produktie and played will piano on “IANAHB”, the opening track on rapper Lil Wayne ‘s tenth studio album, I Am Not a Human Being II , welke was released in March 2013. [17] Fornication with his piano was Mentioned on the track. [18]


  1. Jump up^ Eric Lewis and his “Rock Jazz piano. Retrieved 2011-08-11.
  2. Jump up^ Making a Stand. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  3. Jump up^ Whatever Happened to ELEW? Sadie? Narcissister? . Retrieved 2011-07-21.
  4. Jump up^ Lewis, Eric – | Jazz Music – Jazz Artists – Jazz News. (2007-10-18). Retrieved on 2011-07-21.
  5. Jump up^ How Eric Lewis, Jazz Pianist, Became Retrieved on 2011-08-11.
  6. Jump up^ Making a Stand. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  7. Jump up^ Eric Lewis: Profile on Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  8. Jump up^ Here we are now, entertain us. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  9. Jump up^ Runway Collections Electrified by Live Music. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  10. Jump up^ To showcase nation’s physician first lady is not afraid to spotlight the unexpected. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  11. Jump up^ Ryuhei Kitamura directs Piano Rocker ELEW’s Music Video. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  12. Jump up^ and about: Groban, Sublime with Rome, and a Ghostly Twilight Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  13. Jump up^ Josh Groban: Straight To You Tour. Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  14. Jump up^ A Piano Powerhouse Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  15. Jump up^ Out and about: Groban, Sublime with Rome, and a Ghostly Retrieved 2011-09-11.
  16. Jump up^ ELEW Rock Jazz Vol. Retrieved 2012-08-07.
  17. Jump up^ [1] Retrieved 2013-03-24.
  18. Jump up^ Classical piano meets Lil Wayne’s lyrical perversions on “IANAHB,” subverting ANY claim to good Retrieved 2013-04-18.