Lewis Porter is a jazz pianist and musicologist, educator and author.
Porter studied at the University of Rochester, followed by Master's degrees from Northeastern University and Tufts University and a doctorate in Musicology from Brandeis University.
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. For example, he can be seen on YouTube performing with Dave Liebman, Bela Fleck, Don Byron, Dave King and others. He has released two CDs as a leader, Second Voyage (2002) and Italian Encounter (2007), on the Altrisuoni label, and two as co-leader, 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.
He is the founding editor of the Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians.