Cuban born and Spanish based pianist and producer, Ivan’Melon’Lewis background can be traced back to his father, Ricardo Gonzalez Duquesne, who directed the Orquesta de Música Moderna de Pinar del Rio in the ’60s. In 2013, Lewis was a LatinGrammy®nominee for Recording of the Year, as a producer for the track “La Nave Del Olvido” included in Buika’s album “LaNoche Más Larga.”
Ivan received classical music training and graduated from the prestigious National School of Art(ENA) in Havana. His professional career begins at the age of 20, touring Latin-America, Europe, the U.S as part of the well-known Cuban salsa singer Issac Delgado’s band. As his professional career began to expand, Ivan a very versatile musician, developed a parallel one playing and recording with some of the most renowned European Artists, like Charles Aznavour, Javier Limón, Mariza, and – especially- Buika, with whom he has cooperated for more than five years.
As a leader, Ivan ’Melon’ Lewis has been releasing acclaimed recording since 2010-including “Ayer y Hoy” (Cezanne Producciones) in 2015, obtaining two Latin Grammy®nominations for Best Latin Jazz Album and Best New Artist. With his band, he has performed at world-renowned venues and festivals such as The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the anthological l’Olympia in Paris. Montreal International Jazz, SF Jazz, Montreux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazz in Marciac, Barcelona Jaz International Festival among many others.
Ivan’s newest album, Ivan “Melon “ Lewis & The Cuban Swing Express, combines a mix of traditional big-band swing and classic Cuban rhythms as well as some unexpected additions like cuts from Benny Moré, Michael Jackson, and the Rolling Stones in addition to original tracks by Lewis. He pays homage to both his childhood and his native Cuba with the Cuban Swing Express, but he aims to advance the music rather than honor it.