When Eddie Lewis and his wife, Pearl, were asked to take a Christian version of a personality test called P.L.A.C.E., Mr. Lewis’ results for that test pretty much summarize who he is. It rings true for him, both as a musician and as a person in general. The test showed that he is a learner and a sharer.
Indeed, Eddie Lewis has a passion for learning and the number one thing he enjoys doing with what he learns is sharing it with other people. Whether he is performing, teaching, or composing, it is always about sharing what he has learned.
Professional Trumpet Player
Eddie often jokes saying, “I practice for a living and just go to the gig to pick up my check.” The joke gets a laugh from other musicians, but it also says a lot about how the “learn and share” thing works in his performance career. When Eddie practices, it’s as if he is hungrily devouring new skills and new literature (songs) so he can share those things on stage in his next performance. His appetite for new skills and new material is never satiated.
Eddie Lewis played trumpet professionally as early as 1980, in his home town of El Paso, Texas. But his trumpet career really began the day he moved to Houston in 1988. Mr. Lewis is a full time musician and hasn’t had a day job since he quit delivering pizzas for Domino’s in 1989. As a first call trumpet player in the Houston area, his performance experience spans the entire genre spectrum.
According to conventional music business wisdom, being a musical jack-of-all-trades is not supposed to be a working business model. The masses have difficulty identifying with an artist who has no clear, musical identity. But Eddie Lewis never meant to become a famous trumpet player. His musical aspirations were always just that, musical!
Therein lies the secret of his success as a trumpet performer. Musicians enjoy working with Eddie because he isn’t driven to climb the ladder of success and fame. He’s not looking to become a star. Instead, he strives for musical excellence (contrary to public opinion, they are not the same thing). Band leaders can sense that he really cares about the work they do, no matter what style of music they play. Whether he is performing pop music for a small wedding with The Grooves (out of Austin) or sharing the stage with famous jazz artists in front of tens of thousands of fans, Eddie treats every gig with the same dignity and respect. He delivers his very best work every time.
Sharing As a Trumpet Teacher
Every performance opportunity is a new experience for Eddie Lewis to share with his students. That’s part of what makes him an excellent trumpet teacher. He brings his expertise into the lesson studio and shares it with those who are as hungry to learn as he is.
But that’s not all he shares. Mr. Lewis prides himself on the fact that he is constantly researching new and different ways to teach the trumpet. He is just as hungry for new trumpet pedagogy as he is for new performance material.
Richard Mintz Houston
“Eddie makes trumpet MUSIC that touches your soul.”
David Caceres New York/Houston
“Eddie and I have been working together since the early 90’s. Whether it be the Tom Borling Bebop band, my band, TKOH, Eddie’s Living Rhythms or Noe’s Big Band [The Texas Music Festival Jazz Project], he has always been the consummate professional. Regardless of the style of music, he has always given 100%, being true to the music, never considering himself above it. Eddie has also written many arrangements for my band that I use all the time. If ever I feel uninspired in Houston, I look at Eddie and all of his accomplishments: originals, arrangements, books, study methods, etc…”
Eric Bolvin San Francisco, CA “Eddie Lewis does it all! He’s a versatile, creative trumpet player, an excellent composer arranger, and a patient educator. His books are great and he’s very dependable and a hard worker. His articles are always interesting and informative.”
Mr. Lewis began teaching trumpet lessons when he was still a student at Andress High School (class of 82), in North East El Paso. Within those first few years of his teaching, his students were already making first chair, winning seats in the Texas All-State band and acing their solo contest auditions. In the decades since, Eddie Lewis has taught hundreds of trumpet students, many of them becoming highly successful trumpet players along the way.
Because Eddie is an established jazz trumpeter, he also teaches jazz improvisation lessons. In fact, from 1992 to 1997, he was a consultant for Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where he taught the advanced jazz improvisation class. Some of the students who went through his class are considered the top jazz artists of our time.
Another expression of his passion for sharing, Mr. Lewis has also been writing and publishing trumpet books since 1991. He has authored over a dozen physical books and dozens of eBooks, most of which are available at our online music store, Tiger Music.
Another very special way in which Eddie Lewis shares what he learns is through his writing. Eddie has been writing arrangements since junior high school and composing original pieces since high school. It has always been one of his favorite ways to “share” with his friends. When Eddie began writing music, it was so that he and his friends could get together and play something fun. And really, after so many years, that continues to be the motivation behind his creative output. He wants to contribute to people’s musical merry-making.
For that reason, most of the compositions and arrangements Eddie has written have been for the bands he has had the pleasure of working with. He has written for quite a few local bands. On one end of the spectrum, he has written funk tunes for bands like T.K.Oh! (Houston’s prestigious six horn funk band). On the other side of the spectrum, Eddie often composes pieces for the Texas Brass. It is this attitude of sharing music with his friends that established him as an arranger composer, which, of course, has lead to outside commissions.
It was Mr. Lewis’ work on a local jazz CD that put him on the map as a jazz player in Houston. In 1997, the Tom Borling Bebop Band recorded an album of Eddie’s original jazz tunes. It was that recording that served as a musical coming of age for him as a jazz composer and trumpet player.
Since then, the most remarkable work Eddie Lewis has done as an arranger has been with a new jazz ensemble in the Houston area called, Jazz Forever. The band has already recorded five CDs and all of the tunes on those CDs are his arrangements. So far, Lewis has written over 120 tunes for the band.