Lewis, John

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Lewis, John (Aaron)

(1920–  ) jazz musician; born in La Grange, Ill. As a pianist and arranger, he was employed by numerous bandleaders between 1945–51, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Illinois Jacquet, and Lester Young. In 1952 he recorded with vibraphonist Milt Jackson and other members of the original Gillespie band's rhythm section. By 1954 this group had coalesced as the Modern Jazz Quartet, with Lewis serving as its musical director and arranger, and Jackson as its principal soloist. Lewis also composed for movie soundtracks and ballet, and was a proponent of the fusion of jazz and classical elements known as "third-stream."