Lou Levy

Lou Levy

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January 23, 2001 (Age 72) died

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March 5, 1928 Birthday

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Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Birthplace

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Lou Levy was a West Coast Jazz pianist who played with many top jazz artists, and he was particularly known for his work with jazz singers. He began his career while still in his teens in Chicago and moved to Los Angeles in 1955. Levy collaborated with notable musicians such as Conte Candoli, Stan Getz, and Shorty Rogers, and he had an 18-year-long association with the singer Peggy Lee, which significantly contributed to his reputation as a talented accompanist. Throughout his career, Levy worked with a long list of prominent singers, including Anita O'Day, Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, and Frank Sinatra. Additionally, he performed with the big bands of Benny Goodman and Terry Gibbs, the group Supersax, and led his own projects. Lou Levy passed away from a heart attack in 2000 at the age of 72.


Lou Levy has cited Bud Powell, Art Tatum and Charlie Parker as some of his influences. Lou Levy said that his favorite tune is "I'm Old Fashioned." Lou Levy had a long term relationship with singer Pinky Winters.

Early Life

Lou Levy was born in Chicago in 1928. His father played piano by ear and encouraged Levy to study piano starting around age 12. While still in his teens he had his first professional gig with Georgie Auld’s band and went on to play with Sarah Vaughn, Woody Herman's Second Herd, and Tommy Dorsey-- all before the age of 23. After being fired from Dorsey's band in 1950 Levy took a break from the music industry to work in medical publishing, but he couldn't stay away for long. In 1954 he took a job playing solo intermission piano at the Blue Note in Chicago and jazz musicians enthusiastically responded to his return. The following year Levy moved to Los Angeles to pursue music full time.