Keyboardist, composer and organist Vel Lewis, continues to create Classic, Cool, Jazz & Soul compositions. Following the release of his Smooth Jazz Adult Contemporary single “Maybe So”, the first release from his current 2014 EP “Colors of Soul”, the single continues to chart.
"Song For My Love" is the second single by Hammond organist Vel Lewis from his summer release EP, "Colors of Soul". This mixture of soulful, jazzy rhythmic songs will deliver sultry, groove-laced music that catches and soothes your heart. Vel Lewis captures the keyboards with mixing by Greg Manning and special guests Kevin Chokan and master percussionist Lenny Castro.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, his career began with the Philadelphia All Boys Choir, performing as a soloist at Expo ’67 in Montreal, Canada, while attending Settlement Music School where he had vocal, piano, and concert flute training. Within two years, he added the organ to his repertoire.
By the 70’s, he had joined a vocal group, The Futures, and recorded the single “Breaking Up” on the AMJO record label out of Philadelphia. However, as he continued his training at Overbrook High School, he was asked to perform on a televised PBS jazz program with his classmates, drummer Gerry Brown (Stanley Clarke's "School Days") and bassist John Lee (Dizzy Gillespie's band), from the school’s jazz band along with the show’s producer, Mr. Ira Tucker, Jr.
It was the coup de grace; the show led to Lewis becoming a studio session musician with Peacock Records (a division of ABC Records), and producer Ira Tucker, Sr., lead singer of The Dixie Hummingbirds. Vel recorded Hammond organ with The Gospelaires of Ohio, The Sensational Nightingales, The Five Blind Boys, and on Paul Simon’s “Love Me Like A Rock” and Stevie Wonder’s “Jesus Children of America”, both with The Dixie Hummingbirds, while garnering a recording contract with The Futures from Philadelphia International Records, a division of Columbia Records. There was a whirlwind of activity between recording sessions and concerts with Frankie Beverly and Maze, The O’Jays, Grover Washington, The Spinners, The Whispers, and The Supremes.
The Futures’ band became known as The Life Group, and began playing with The Delfonics, performing such hits as “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind”, “When You Get Right Down To It”, and “La, La, Means I Love You”. Lewis had become an A-List musician, performing on shows with Earth, Wind, & Fire, Parliament/Funkadelic, Al Green, Isaac Hayes, David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks.
Fortunately, Lewis was not one to be limited, as he co-wrote the Delfonics’ hit song, “I Told You So” with William Hart and co-wrote The Life Group’s successful single, “Tell Me Why”. Lewis continued to work throughout the industry during the early 80’s performing with Phyllis Hyman, Stevie Wonder, Mandrill and numerous other guest stars.
Lewis co-produced original music with Tom Borton and former RCA executive Ed Martinez for Chrysler/Plymouth Motors Super Bowl commercials featuring Tina Turner. Lewis continued into the 90’s co-writing and co-producing on Borton’s three-album deal with Mesa/Bluemoon Records.
Never a stranger to the road, Lewis performed with Tom Borton at the Indianapolis Jazz Festival with Dan Siegel and Boney James. Upon returning home from tour, Vel put his expertise in corporate business finance to work, assisting Tom Borton with his newly formed production music library, Los Angeles Post Music, and assisting Mr. Billy Davis, Jr. with the formation of a Christian non-profit corporation called “Soldiers For The Second Coming” – a praise and worship ministry founded by Billy Davis, Jr. and Marilyn McCoo, holding the positions of Music Director, Corporate Secretary, and Chief Financial Officer. Since Tom Borton’s passing in 2011, Vel works as Consultant for Los Angeles Post Music c/o the Thomas William Borton Estate managing the ongoing operations of the business while soliciting interested parties about acquisition of the production music library.
In 2002, Ms. Dionne Warwick contacted Vel to perform on her World Tour, which he did for three years before releasing his solo debut CD/DVD project, “Shady Grady – All Wound Up”.
A compilation CD released in 2007 called "Keepin' It Mellow" contained a song from Vel’s “All Wound Up” CD entitled “Let It Ride”, which became the number #1 Most Played Single in the U.K.
Vel has now released his first Christmas holiday single, performing his rendition of the familiar carol "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen".