Pleasanton’s Don Lewis wins Alameda County Arts Leadership award

One of eight recipients to be honored by county board Sept. 27

Don Lewis of Pleasanton, a music artist and synthesizer innovator, has won the prestigious 2016 Alameda County Arts Leadership award.

He is one of eight recipients of the annual award, sponsored by the Alameda County Arts Commission. The winners will be commended by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors at its public meeting at 10:45 a.m. Sept. 27 in the Supervisor’s chambers in the county administration building, 1221 Oak St., Oakland.

The event will be held in conjunction with the county’s celebration of California Arts Day and National Arts and Humanities Month in October.

The county Arts Commission selected the eight award winners from a group of nominees whose names were submitted by the public. Award recipients were selected based on their achievements within the arts field and their contributions to the community.

Besides Lewis, the other recipients are Kathleen Breedveld of Livermore; Susan Longini, Fremont; Sergio Suarez, Hayward, and Bruce Beasley, Ayodele Nzinga and the team of J.K. Fowler and MK Chavez, all of Oakland.

Lewis’ pioneering efforts are the subject of a documentary to be released in 2017, titled “The Ballad of Don Lewis.” He has taught courses at UC Berkeley Extension and guest lectured at Stanford University and San Jose State University.

He also has mentored students through school programs and “Young Expressions” performances. His "Say YES to Music!” assemblies have inspired thousands of students of all ages throughout the Bay Area and beyond. During his six-decade career, he has presented concerts worldwide, including at the Newport Jazz Festival and at Carnegie Hall. He also toured with The Beach Boys, and appeared with several symphony orchestras.

Lewis is an active member of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton and participates in service projects locally and internationally.

For more information on the Arts Commission and its program and on other 2016 Arts Leadership awards, send an email to

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11 people like this
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Carriage Gardens
on Sep 19, 2016 at 10:19 am

Don I am sure that our entire Rotary Club of Pleasanton is extremely proud of you to receive this outstanding award--you are truly an asset to the City of Pleasanton where you have done so much throughout our City during your residency in Pleasanton. We of the Rotary Club of Pleasanton are so lucky to have you as a member and we thoroughly enjoy your talent each and every time that we meet--your participation in the opening potion of our meetings on Thursdays adds so much to our title of the "Worlds Greatest Rotary Club." That you Don--"You are the best."

5 people like this
Posted by Joe Crosslin
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 20, 2016 at 9:53 am

Well Deserved!

5 people like this
Posted by Wendy
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Sep 20, 2016 at 10:31 am

This is so wonderful! I have been moved to tears by your music. I feel honored to know you.

4 people like this
Posted by Dana
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 20, 2016 at 11:56 am

We love you Don Lewis. You are the very best. It's Pleasanton's great pleasure to have such a talent in our town.

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