Keith Lewis

Bassist, Composer, Audio Engineer

BIO

 

Keith Lewis first began his musical career when his grandparents shipped an old piano that was sitting unused in their basement to his family when he was eight years old. He immediately enrolled in piano lessons, but it wasn't until he began playing trumpet four years later that he really began to be inspired by music. Studying both trumpet and piano throughout high school, Keith noticed a lack of opportunities for trumpet players, so he began to teach himself bass on his own using his father's old acoustic guitar. He soon got an electric bass and switched his secondary focus from piano to bass. In his senior year, the high school jazz band was offered the chance to go record an album at Blue Jay Studios with Bob Lawson. It was this experience, coupled with his years spent at the high school radio station, WIQH, that spurred Keith to explore recording as a possible career path, which led him to Case Western Reserve University.

While at Case, Keith studied classical trumpet with Jack Brndiar, classical and jazz double bass with Dr. Kathleen Horvath, jazz performance, arranging, and composition with Paul Ferguson, and audio recording with Bruce Egre. Keith used every opportunity that the program shared by Case and the Cleveland Institute of Music had had to offer. He performed in two symphonic wind ensembles, the school jazz band, a brass quintet, several pit orchestras, and an experimental jam/rock/hip hop band. While attending Case, he worked for both Case and CIM as a recording and mastering engineer, recording over one hundred recitals, recording sessions, and concerts. In the summers, Keith interned at a Massachusetts recording studio, Wellspring Sound, where he assisted owner/engineer Eric Kilburn on numerous sessions with clients like Dave Mattacks, J. Geils, and Gordon Goodwin. Studying at Case introduced Keith to several musical luminaries such as former Telarc CEO and chief recording engineer Jack Renner, Cleveland Symphony Orchestra audio supervisor Bruce Gigax, and RPG Diffusor Systems founder Peter D'Antonio, among others. These encounters each gave Keith a unique perspective on audio and recording, leading to a production style that is all his own.

Upon graduation in May of 2010, Keith returned home to the Boston area where he began performing on both trumpet and bass with a variety of bands. He also remained active in the Cleveland music scene, engineering and producing two albums for the Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra, and one album with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. In August of 2010, he went on tour to Croatia and the Netherlands with the Tesla Orchestra, a musical Tesla coil group that Keith joined as an audio engineer in March of 2010, eventually becoming the group's music director. He joined the group again in Cleveland for their debut U.S. performance with the Open Spark Project in May 2011. Keith spent the summer of 2011 writing and playing bass on an album with zydeco/cumbia/pan-americana band, Gumbo Diablo, which was released September 1st.

In January of 2012, Keith moved to Raleigh, NC to begin touring full time with local rock band, The Design. After about ten months of touring and numerous performances all across the American Southeast, The Design disbanded and Keith returned to freelance work. He soon joined Carrboro based rock band Spiralfire as their full-time bassist, and traveled with the band to the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas. Keith is currently performing and writing with Spiralfire, Nikol, The Pseudo Cowboys, and a progressive jazz project The Space We Built, doing freelance work as a bassist and engineer, and teaching piano and bass lessons at Family Piano Academy in North Raleigh.

In 2017, Keith began to compose music, releasing his first solo EP, Daylight, under the name AmHere. He is currently looking for composition work, while continuing to write the next AmHere release.

Photographer: Guillermo Quetzalcoatl