-the interview-

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"Doug Jackson -Part 1"

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"Have Voice...Will Travel"

The amount of pure talent that I have had the honor of meeting and been fortunate enough to stand on the same stage with during rehearsals and sound checks is truly amazing.David Lewis is another example of how a mega talented musician makes up the heart of Ambrosia.

The members of Ambrosia, as I have said in the past, are cut from a different pattern than most other bands. David is a prime example of this. His musicianship speaks for itself, but behind that there is a whole different facet. He is an extremely warm, open, comical and extremely interesting person to sit and talk with.

I had been around David in his first years with the band and again I was there to see his reunion show with the rest of this growing musical family. It was an evening that I will not forget.

After the show, the members met in the hospitality area and there was a definite sense of electricity in and amongst us all. As things drew to a close and we returned to our rooms, David came walking in. I could tell that this night was not only a special night because of the show, but it had a different feeling as if it were a whole new start. I had the pleasure to sit and talk with David and ask things I had never had the chance to do prior. The rest of the band also found their way to the room. I sat back and just listened to them all talk. Yeah this was definitely a different night.

I hope with this interview I can share with you. just a taste of what I was treated to by being able to talk with this multi talented musician.

I am proud to be able to present the David Cutler Lewis Interview.

For more in-depth information on his achievements visit:

Patrick Rossi

Q.) Ambrosia was originally formed as a four piece band, yourself and Royce Jones were from what
I have been told were brought into the mix to augment the bands sound, how did that transpire and was
it an easy process?

Originally I played on the "Life Beyond LA" record before I was in the touring band.
Chris had left the band and I knew Burleigh via a mutual friend; Ed Mann (Frank Zappa).
(I actually played with Joe, Burleigh and Chris at CAL ARTS when I was going there in 1974.)
Burleigh then called me and I went down and jammed with Joe, Burleigh, and Dave.
Then I began rehearsing with the band and we started auditioning organ players.
We went through a lot of people and none of them "got it." I mentioned trying Chris and bam,
he was back in the band. Before the Life Beyond LA tour, Royce was brought in to fill in harmonies
and sing lead.The whole thing was easy; we were YOUNG!

Q.) You are known as a premier keyboard artist, what type of training
did you have and at what age did you realize this is what you wanted
to do as a way of life?

I was raised playing classical piano before I can remember. I stuck with
that all through my youth. In high school I began improvising and met some
key players that shaped my life. My parents had bought me a Fender Rhodes
and before we all knew it, my band was getting unplugged at high school dances
because we were improvising in a Miles Davis Bitches Brew style : ) I can't blame
them in retrospect. Then CAL ARTS happened and my technique and improvisational
skills soared. I also played the top part of the 2 piano 'Rite of Spring.' That took 1 1/2
years to get down. An achievement I'll always be proud of. 32 minutes of insane music!

Q.) Who do you consider to be the one keyboard player that sets the bar for all others?

That is a difficult question. I don't have a favorite. Many players were very important to me
at various ages. Joe Zawinul with Weather Report, was a huge influence, as was Chick
and Herbie Hancock. Also, Keith Jarrett was a monster. Cecil Taylor was also
a huge influence. His chaotic style was really brilliant.

Q.) How were you introduced to Shadowfax ?

Again, Ed Mann was influential. He met GE Stinson of Shadowfax
at the NAMM Show, and they were looking for a new keyboard player.
That was a fun 7 years.

Q.) Do you have a story from the road that you can share with us ? ....
we all have skeletons in our closets!

Well, all the stories I'd like to share are unconscionable. Don't really want
search engines spewing out my tales! Other than that, really great sex.

Q.) Tell me about your first meeting with " The Largest Ego Known To Mankind "
...Steve "Screemin" Lehman.

That freak of nature? I 'think' the first time I met him was at rehearsal.
What a guy. I tend to gravitate towards eccentric people, and he QUALIFIES.
Haven't seen him in quite awhile. It's probably time for a shoot out.

Q.) How different is it with the band today compared to the lineup you first recorded and toured with?

Ya know, not that all different. Doug and Robert are pros. Everyone in this lineup kicks ass.

Q.) Not only are you a fantastic musician but you also design some of the best web graphics
I have seen, how did you get involved with web designs?

During an Ambrosia gig '96 on a cruise ship in the Caribbean I slipped a disk. After returning I
couldn't lift anything like keyboards and I put out some feelers and got hired by a guy here in
Santa Monica to be his graphics and web guy. I had already become quite proficient at Photoshop
and when the Internet first appeared I immediately built a web site and learned HTML. I've been
doing this off and on since.

Q.) Are you still in contact with David Pack at all?

No I'm not in contact with David. We never really had major business conflicts;
just played music. He is a very talented musician.

Q.) In your eyes, what is the one one thing you are most proud of in your musical career?

Winning a Grammy with Shadowfax, hands down.

Q.) When you're not busy recording or touring....what other hobbies due you enjoy?

I'm an advanced snow skier but haven't done it in a few years. Also scuba diving, but I
only do it now when I'm in the tropics. Sushi isn't a hobby but I consider a night at the
"bar" an activity.

Q.) What was your first show like playing live with Ambrosia like?

Man, I can't exactly remember my very first gig (Chris would be able to recall that!)
I think it was with Hall and Oates. A lot of adrenalin was flowing.


Patrick Rossi

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