Skip to page content

Eric Reed Trio

About this Artist

When you think of hard-driving swing,

daring expression, sophistication and elegance in artistry, formidable

technique and a thunderous sound, there are only a small handful

of young pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredlyERIC REED. But don’t think of him as a just a pianist; Eric is one

of the new generation’s most advanced thinkers in Jazz music.

Born in Philadelphia, PA. on June 21,

1970, Eric grew up playing Gospel music in his father’s storefront

Baptist church, starting at the age of five. "My father was a minister

but he also used to sing with a Gospel group in Philly called the

Bay State Singers. He was my earliest musical influence. I also

was hit heavily by Edwin Hawkins’ music of the 1970s. Gospel music

remains a large part of my playing today." Afterwards, young Reed

was bitten by the Jazz bug after hearing recordings of Art Blakey,

Ramsey Lewis and Dave Brubeck.

A child prodigy, Eric started playing

piano at age two and formal instruction began at age seven at Philadelphia’s

Settlement Music School. 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. "I wasn’t interested in Bach at the time; I was checking

out Horace Silver."

By age eleven, his family moved to Los

Angeles and he continued his formal instruction at the R.D. Colburn

School of Arts where his theory teacher Jeff Lavner, finally realizing

that Eric was simply not going to bear the classics, turned him

onto recordings of great Jazz pianists. Clearly, Eric was setting

out to carve his own path early. "My neighborhood library had all

kinds of hip Jazz records and I was in there everyday checking them

out. Everything was there: Ahmad Jamal, Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson,

McCoy Tyner -- it was unbelievable! By the time I was thirteen,

I didn’t realize it but, I had digested all of the Jazz recordings

that musicians were expected to know."

After four years of intense self-teaching

combined with mentoring by composer Harold Battiste, Eric could

be heard around town working leading his own groups and working

in the bands of Teddy Edwards, Gerald Wilson, Clora Bryant and John

Clayton. He attended Cal State Northridge for one year during which

he toured briefly with Wynton Marsalis at age 18. A year later,

Eric joined Marsalis’ Septet (1990-91; 1992-95). He 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). Eric continues

to perform and record with an assorted multitude of masters like

Elvin Jones, Benny Carter, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, Cassandra

Wilson, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Dianne Reeves and a host of other

diverse performers including Natalie Cole, Patti Labelle, Oleta

Adams, Edwin Hawkins, Jessye Norman and Quincy Jones.

Since 1995, Eric has been touring the

world with his own ensembles, making serious waves in the Jazz community.

The legendary Ahmad Jamal has called Eric, "one of my very favorite

pianists." Eric’s recording Pure Imagination,

shot to #1 on the Gavin chart and stayed there for seven weeks,

earning him the 1999 Gavin Artist of the Year award. His next recording,Manhattan Melodies was also

#1 on Gavin for several weeks. A masterful composer/arranger Reed

has scored music for independent films as well as mainstream, including

the comedy "Life," featuring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence.

In addition to leading a quintet that

features some of the finest young talent on the scene, Eric presently

expands his musical horizons in the area of education, teaching

in various situations worldwide. Away from the piano, Eric serves

as the artistic director of a concert series called Jazz Composer

Portraits at Columbia University’s Miller Theater. Eric’s latest

release is FROM MY HEART,

his first ever recording of all ballads.

Check out all the info on Eric's own website.