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=Living Legend

Ron Levy

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Organist/pianist Ron Levy has devoted most of his career to keeping the flame of funky, bluesy soul-jazz alive. Born Reuvin Zev ben Yehoshua Ha Levi in 1959 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Levy played clarinet as a child but switched to piano after seeing Ray Charles at age thirteen. When he encountered the music of Jimmy Smith, Billy Preston and Booker T. and the MGs, he fell in love with the Hammond B-3 and made the switch.

Levy began working the Boston blues club scene as a teenager, and was hired by Albert King in 1971, before even graduating from high school. He spent a year and a half with King, and then joined B.B. Kingís backing band, where he remained for the next seven years. He also began working with the Rhythm Rockers in 1976, an association that lasted four years, and then became a member of Roomful of Blues from 1983-1987.

It was during that time that Levy recorded his first session as a leader, 1985ís Ron Levyís Wild Kingdom for the Black Top label. Safari in New Orleans followed in 1988, after which Levy moved to the Bullseye Blues label, where he eventually became an in-house producer (an area where heís garnered seven Grammy nominations). His albums for Bullseye Blues include 1992ís B-3 Blues and Grooves and 1996ís Zim Zam Zoom:  Acid Blues on B-3. Greaze is Whatís Good (recorded for Cannonball in 1998) featured an all-star roster of guests, including Freddie Hubbard, Melvin Sparks, David T. Walker, Steve Turre, Idris Muhammad and Preston Shannon. Levy continues to tour regularly and collaborate with and produce artists like Jimmy King, Karl Denison and Charles Earland.

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