Merit Music School Gala Honoring Jazz Pianist Ramsey Lewis Raises More Than $1 Million

On Thursday, May 4, Merit School of Music honored two leading supporters of the arts and education, Joe and Madeleine Glossberg, along with Chicago jazz legend and internationally renowned composer and pianist Ramsey Lewis at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, 221 N. Columbus Drive. Merit honored the Glossbergs with the Alice S. Pfaelzer Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts in recognition of their unwavering support for the arts and arts education. Joe Glossberg, a highprofile Chicago financial advisor with a passion for jazz, has been an active and generous Merit Trustee for more than 20 years. He is now a Merit Life Trustee. Mrs. Glossberg has joined her husband in supporting Merit through committee membership for galas, sponsoring Merit’s programs and advocating for Merit through her community involvement.

At the event Ramsey Lewis received Merit School of Music’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Known internationally for his many contributions to music and education, Lewis has long been involved with Merit as an active member of its National Advisory Board, offering master classes to students and championing Merit’s efforts to engage a student body reflecting the city of Chicago so that students of all backgrounds are able to achieve their full personal, musical potential. Lewis has recorded more than 80 albums and has received seven gold records and three Grammy Awards. The Merit Gala provided a celebratory reception for the non-profit community music school, and attracted nearly 400 attendees, raising more than $1 million. All proceeds benefit Merit School of Music and its mission to transform the lives of Chicago-area youth through removing barriers to high-quality music education.

Merit Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and Chicago jazz legend Ramsey Lewis and family enjoy the Merit Gala 2017 at the Radisson Blu Aqua (photo by Jasmin Shah).