Leonard Albert Kravitz, better known to most as Lenny Kravitz, is an entertainment powerhouse, who displayed his many talents early in life and has not stopped working at developing even more talents ever since.
The only child of television producer Sy Kravitz and the late Roxie Roker, the actress who played Helen Willis on the popular TV sitcom, “The Jeffersons,” Kravitz grew up a child of means.
“We moved from New York to Los Angeles for my mother’s TV role and it was there, thanks to her, that I developed a life-long passion for music at an early age,” Kravitz reports by telephone from his home in the Bahamas.
“I was surrounded by so much music and art that I knew from the time I was 5 years old that this is what I wanted to do,” says the man who today is regarded as one of the preeminent musicians of our time — a major musical force who has transcended genre, type, race and class over the course of his multi-decade career.
But in the beginning, when Roker was anxious to keep her child off the streets and out of trouble, she enrolled him in the California Boys Choir.
“That was a major move and a major blessing for me. I got trained and then graduated into the actual Concert Choir. And through that I got to work with the likes of the Metropolitan Opera and the Joffrey Ballet. I got to sing with great conductors and great artists.
“And what all that did for me was teach me a great deal about harmony and orchestrating – things I use in my career today. Another big thing from all those years was learning discipline. In fact, I might say without that background I might not be doing what I’m doing today,” says Kravitz who will be showing how everything worked so well for him when he appears for one night only, next week, at the Met Philadelphia.
His appearance is part of a tour in support of his critically-acclaimed, 11th full-length album, “Raise Vibrations.”
Kravitz says the inspiration for his music comes simply “from life. My latest album, ‘Raise Vibrations,’ came to me in my dreams. I dreamed the album, one song at a time. I do dream music often but I also hear it in my head.”
Always working, reveling in the soul, rock and funk influences of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Kravitz, a writer, producer and multi-instrumentalist has won four consecutive Grammy Awards, as well as set a record for the most wins in the “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance” category.
Additionally, Kravitz has segued into film, appearing in “The Hunger Games,” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” He also had roles in “Precious” and “The Butler.” And Kravitz helms his own design firm, while continuing to work on many other projects that interest him as well.
Happiness, for Kravitz, he concludes, “is making that connection, sharing the music, the energy, the love that travels through the songs, whatever I’m singing that night, and the people. I think if you have to break down my message I’d have to say it’s really about love. And the fact that we are all one on this marvelous planet.”