By likemindblog


 J.T. LEWIS, grew up surrounded by music in Jamaica, New York.  As a gifted young child, he began playing drums at the age of 10.  J.T. has performed, recorded with over 200 artists of all genres, from the jazz greats such as Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Hancock, Lena Horne, to pop icons such as Tina Turner, Sting, Witney Houston just to name a few.

J.T. welcome and thank you so much  for taking time in your incredibly busy schedule, to participate in this project and answering the following questions.

No. 1)  What is music to and for you?  (generally and personally)

To me music is a way to express things beyond speaking…there are no language barriers. The soul understands this and listens from within, and waits for answers. It heals and nourishes the soul . It’s food to be ingested by the spirit. Think about a day passing without listening to some sort of music !!

No. 2)  What inspires you?J.T. LEWIS 3

Inspiration is an idea from where it comes from we know not. It’s a divine gift. it’s a seed,  it comes and then it grows in the garden of your brain until it is a full idea..it’s amazing because at one moment it was nothing …and then…..it’s something!!  these are mysteries that are still unanswered but happen everyday….Where did Einstein , Miles, Hendrix, Mozart, Beethoven, Picasso, Basquiat, Coltrane get these ideas that changed the way we look and listen to things? They came from the heavens….and was captured by those that know how to do so!

No. 3)  When you are playing, creating, where does it take you? Where does your mind travel (spirit)?

When I’m playing, I see myself as an antenna, a conduit, that let’s inspirational energy flow thru me…and if it is done correctly…then I”M NOT PLAYING, THE MUSIC IS PLAYING ME !!

No. 4)  Do you think music, painting and health are related and if so, how?

Well I know that you have to be physically strong to play my instrument(drums) day in day out..year after year…but not only that…your spiritual energy grows in strength with your physical energy !….and answering your question…all of the art disciplines are related to health, especially mental health, The Arts is just a mirror into the health of the Soul and Spirit, The soul of the Artist , the Soul of the listener/watcher, and the Soul of the Society in which he/she lives !!

JT_Lewis-Bitches_Brew_Revisited_By_JeanSaintJean_024No. 5)  How do you feel when you are playing?

I feel omnipotent !! I feel the infinite energy of the divine spirit guiding me thru whatever musical journey I am on at the time! It’s very hard to explain the feeling …when I’m playing, I feel like I can ask any question, and it will be answered !…I’m not talking about religion…I’m talking about the connection to the limitless energy of the universe..at least that’s what I call it  and I hope people feel it when they listen to my music!!

 No. 6)  Under what conditions do you work best?

 That’s a broad question..what conditions do I like when I’m writing and forming new ideas? Or when I’m performing?

For instance..if you are in tune with your spirit…inspiration comes from everyday life..ie:children playing in the backyard…the sound of people walking, a police siren, water dripping from a half closed tap, anything can give u a spark..if you are aware that your soul/spirit is always listening and paying attention, then u will never be alone of ideas!!

 As for performing: a willing and listening audience is all that’s required…sometimes people get comfortable with a certain way of listening and you have to remind them that they are not slaves to what they listen to…they have to think for themselves and not be force fed, u have to remind them that listening and thinking freely is a right given to them from the heavens., that music is not just entertainment, it’s much more and we can’t forget that !

 No. 7)  Do you identify with your music and if so, on what level?JT ON DRUMS

 I identify with my music on a very personal and spiritual level…it connects me with the other dimensions….dimensions that we can’t see but are there…the ”dream time dimension”…and I try to capture sounds and colors from my dreams and meditations and bring it into our dimension !!

No. 8)  When you are playing, does it help you to connect with your higher self, whatever that is for you?

This question is answered with no. 7

No. 9)  How do you feel about creativity in the public school system?

When I attended public school…they had art programs  for the young people, I could take home any instrument I wanted and try it out for free…now those programs don’t exist and I always wondered what great talent is being ignored !!! If it were’nt for the Public School Arts Programs…I wouldn’t be a professional musician now !!

No. 10)  In your opinion, what could be a simple solution to improve creativity in the public school system?

Bringing in professional artists that are products of the Public School J.T. LEWIS 5System could provide some incentive to have art put back in the schools curriculum.

No. 11)  How do you feel about improvisation in music?

Kids are natural improvisers…playing in the schoolyard…or making up rhymes…this is improvisation !!…it’s a natural thing!!

No. 12)  What is jazz to you?

Jazz is a word associated with music that was invented in America, by African Americans…that is a by product of the struggles of Slavery to freedom…from the Blues to Gospel to Rhythm and Blues…that uses the tools of ”testifying” or improvising on a theme of music. but to me the conotation of what Jazz is has been perverted into something that has stifled the growth of what people  listen to.

When u say ”jazz”, most people think of something like what Wynton Marsalis does at Lincoln Center, to me that’s not jazz…that is music being” preserved” like a wax museum . If Miles or ”Bird” or ”Diz” or especially Monk heard this music, they would be turning over in their graves !!..that kind of Jazz is the preservation society music. Jazz is supposed to evolve ..it keeps growing and moving…like Ornette Coleman, or Henry Threadgill etc. but the listening public is not exposed to where music is going….only to where it’s been !!

No. 13)  When playing in a public place such as a club or bar, doJ.T. LEWIS 1 you think there should be a separate place for people who really want to listen to music and those who just want to talk?

YES !..When the curtain goes up on Broadway or Carnegie Hall…can u talk?

Again thank you, Mr. J.T. Lewis, for sharing with us your thoughts and feelings.  I want to wish you well in all your endeavours and until our paths cross again, be blessed!


You are cordially invited to visit J.T.’s links to learn more about this versatile artist and listen to his music.  Your comments are always appreciated, thank you and enjoy!




 Mail this post
Be Sociable, Share!
Filed in: MUSIC • Friday, April 1st, 2011

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge


My name is Michele Andree. I am an artist, I paint musicians in action. I think I’m a musician at heart, my instrument being… a brush, so I play…brush and I paint… music.
I love jazz. I call it freedom music. It promotes special values. I love intelligent people and good conversations.

Some people ask me how music relates to art. Personally I find they go hand in hand. Music is what turns me on to painting. It makes me see colours