Lewis Robert Porter (born 1951) is an American jazz pianist, musicologist, educator, and author.
Porter earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Rochester (1972), and, while there, studied music at Eastman. He went on to earn a Master of Education in Counseling from Northeastern University (1976), followed by a master's degree in Music Theory from Tufts University (1979), and finally a PhD in Musicology from Brandeis University (1983).
He is a Professor of Music at Rutgers University, where he founded and still directs the world's first jazz history program, the Master's Program in Jazz History and Research. He also accepts private students in person and via Skype.
Porter performs frequently on piano and synthesizer with many artists. There is a preview video on YouTube of his album "Beauty & Mystery" with Terri Lyne Carrington, John Patitucci and Tia Fuller. He can also be seen on YouTube performing with Dave Liebman, Bela Fleck, Don Byron, Dave King and others. He has appeared on about 25 album as a sideperson, co-leader, or as a leader. Among the latter are Second Voyage with Dan Faulk and Dave Liebman (2002) and Italian Encounter with Furio DiCastri "live" for the Siena Jazz Festival (2007), on the Altrisuoni label, and among those as co-leader, "Surreality" with Dave Liebman and Marc Ribot (Enja) Transformation (keyboard duets with Marc Rossi/Altrisuoni label) and Just Four (as a member of the India/Jazz group Dharma Jazz).
Porter is author of many books and articles. These include Jazz: A Century of Change and Lester Young.
He is best known for his biography of saxophonist John Coltrane, published in 1998 in English, and in French and Italian in 2007. Entitled John Coltrane: His Life and Music (University of Michigan Press), the book has been endorsed by Coltrane's son Ravi Coltrane, Dan Morgenstern, Jimmy Heath, Dave Liebman, and many others.
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