John Aaron Lewis (May 3, 1920 – March 29, 2001) was an American jazz pianist and composer best known as the musical director of the Modern Jazz Quartet.
Born in LaGrange, Illinois and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he learned classical music and piano from his mother starting at the age of seven. He continued his musical training at the University of New Mexico and also studied anthropology. He served in the Army in World War II. While stationed in France on a three-year tour of duty, he met and performed with Kenny Clarke. Clarke was an early developer of the bop style and Lewis composed and arranged for a band he and Clarke organized. Lewis returned from service in 1945 and resumed his university studies.
Learn more about John Lewis at allaboutjazz.com.