Sunday, June 21, 2009

Jazz pianist Eric Reed was born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia June 21,1970. He grew up playing his father's storefront Baptist church, starting at the age of five. His father was a minister an also used to sing with a gospel grup in Philly called the "Bay State Singers". He was Eric's earliest musical influence.

He was also was hit heavily by the sound of Christian and secular music of the 1970s (most notably Edwin & Walter Hawkins, Andrea Crouch and James Cleveland). Soon after, young Reed was bitten by the Jazz bug after hearing recordings by Art Blakey, Ramsey Lewis and Dave Brubeck.

Blessed by God as a child prodigy, Eric started playing piano at age two, beginning formal instruction at age five, starting at Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School at age seven. However, he remained primarily self-taught, often confounding his instructors by not learning the written music, but listening to them play it first and memorizing musical pieces note-for-note.

At 18, Eric began touring the world with his own ensembles and recording both as a leader and sideman, making serious waves in the world of music. He garnered great notice with Wynton Marsalis’ Septet (1990-91; 1992-95) and spent two years with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (1996-98), making countless recordings and TV appearances with them. Reed also worked in the bands of Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson (1991-92).

In 2005, Eric formed a quartet with fellow Los Angelean Willie Jones III, bassist Gerald Cannon and tenor & soprano saxophonist Stacy Dillard. They currently hit the performing circuit quite vigorously.

Eric’s latest release, entitled "Here" was out in May 2006 on the MaxJazz label and features drummer Willie Jones III and bassist Rodney Whitaker.

Click to watch Eric Reed in action.

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