Eric Reed Biography

Eric Scott Reed, 21 June 1970, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Pianist Reed began his life in music when he was two years old with an interest in the drums. He gravitated to the piano and began formal lessons at five, eventually studying with influential teacher Vernon Lathon. Memorable influences at this time included the music that Reed heard in church, including pianists Shirley Easley and Sadie Armstrong, and other family members including his father who sang and a brother who played guitar. It was also the sounds of recordings such as Art Blakey’s At The Café Bohemia, Ramsey Lewis’ Sound Of Christmas and Dave Brubeck’s Time Further Out that spurred Reed into pursuing a career as a jazz musician. He moved to Los Angeles, California with his family at 11 years old. He later attended the R.D. Colburn School Of Performing Arts from 1982-86, studying with teacher Jeff Lavner. An impressive meeting with Wynton Marsalis lead to a long association with the trumpeter beginning when Reed was 18.

While in Los Angeles, Reed worked with many prominent artists such as John Clayton, the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Betty Carter and Wayne Shorter. After relocating to New York, Reed associated with Carl Allen, Elvin Jones, Joshua Redman, David Sanchez, Ron Carter, Wycliffe Jordan and Vincent Herring. The pianist’s membership in Marsalis’ Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, which performs classic works by composers such as Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, as well as Marsalis’ original compositions including Blood On The Fields, brought him much recognition as well. Reed has also developed a strong career as a leader, while his modern playing style has strong ties to tradition, he has been equally influenced by adventurous pianists such as Keith Jarrett and Andrew Hill. He has also incorporated the influences of gospel artists such as Edwin Hawkins and Andrae Crouch, as well as the classical work of Maurizio Pollini and Dinu Lipatti, into his approach to jazz.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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