Once upon a time, Eric Lewis was a decorated, up-and-coming jazz pianist, a sideman for Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones, among others, and the recipient of the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Piano competition. A decade into his career, he had an epiphany. The songs he was playing weren’t speaking to him the way he wanted them to: while they were part of the traditional jazz repertoire, they weren’t part of his own emotional repertoire. On the other hand, there were contemporary rock songs whose lyrics meant the world to him. Lewis considered the landscape, drew the curtain, and reemerged as ELEW, a revolutionary artist who combines virtuosic skill on the grand piano with an unprecedented openness to modern pop and rock music.