Jazz pianist & composer Ramsey Lewis on being an artist

The Artist Toolbox is new on this season’s PBS schedule, and features one-on-one interviews with artists at the top of their fields. Take a look at the impressive and varied list of subjects: painting, jazz, classical, ballet, couture.

A recent program featured Ramsey Lewis, and here are some sound bites:

  • Creativity is everywhere
  • You have to learn to listen to your inner self
  • Everybody in his high school had to take 2 years of music
  • Current American society has become satisfied with mediocrity
  • What are Americans doing instead of minding the store? Culture is a mess. Washington is a mess. Society is a mess.  What are they doing?
  • You have to learn how to get over the fear. You gotta handle your demons. Then everything can start happening.

Clearly the man has learned how to handle at least some of his own demons/fears, and that story’s well worth listening to, whether your own training is classical (as his was originally – surprised?) or not.