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 pianists you think of and one of them is most assuredly ERIC SCOTT REED.
Eric was born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA. He grew up playing in his father’s storefront Baptist church: “My father was a minister who sang with a Gospel group called the Bay State Singers; he was my earliest musical influence. I was also hit heavily by everything I heard on the radio – James Cleveland, Edwin & Walter Hawkins, Andraé Crouch, Donny Hathaway, Earth, Wind & Fire.” Soon after, young Reed was bitten by the Jazz bug after hearing recordings by Art Blakey, Ramsey Lewis and Dave Brubeck.
Beyond playing the piano, Reed expanded his scope to Hollywood, composing and arranging music for the Eddie Murphy comedy, Life, various other independent projects for Fantastic Four director and high-school chum Tim Story, plus commercials and TV spots. Annually, he serves as musical conductor for choreographer Alvin Ailey’s classic Revelations with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, under the direction of Judith Jamison. An ardent educator, Eric served on the faculty of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music. He continues to perform worldwide master classes that cover the full spectrum of Jazz history and discography.
ABOUT JOE FARNSWORTH
Joe Farnsworth is the host of The Velvet Note’s series of “must see now” jazz artists that bears his name. One of the most highly regarded jazz drummers on the scene today, Joe is known for his blazing speed, precision, musical, and melodic playing.
Born in South Hadley, Massachusetts in 1968, Joe grew up in a musical family; his father was a music educator and he has four older brothers, two of whom became professional musicians.
He studied with Alan Dawson and Arthur Taylor prior to attending and graduating from William Patterson College in New Jersey in 1994 where he began playing with saxophonist, Eric Alexander and guitarist, Peter Bernstein.
Upon moving to New York City, he led the weekend jazz combos at Augie’s (now Smoke Jazz & Supper Club). He performed with Junior Cook, Cecil Payne, John Ore, Big John Patton, Harold Mabern, Eddie Henderson, John Jenkins and his brothers, John and James.