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Ed Reed & Randy Porter Duo
Friday, June 22, 2012 from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)
This duo concert marks the latest collaboration between jazz vocalist Ed Reed and pianist Randy Porter. Randy has accompanied Ed on tours in Switzerland, New York, and Boston, and was musical director, arranger, and pianist on Ed’s 2011 release, Born to Be Blue. Their new project is a tribute to the music of Nat King Cole, and they will perform some of those tunes together for the first time in public at Musically Minded Academy on June 22.
Ed Reed made his recording debut just before his
78th birthday in 2007. The road to that first highly acclaimed CD isa story of the triumph of the human spirit over great adversity. Born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1929, Reed relocated at age 7 to Los Angeles where his father worked as a waiter on the Southern Pacific Railroad and was active in the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. At 11, he had his first music lesson from his neighbor’s younger brother, then-teenage bassist Charles Mingus who taught him how to sing chord changes. At 17, he dropped out of school, ran away from home, and joined the army where, stationed at Oakland Army Base, he started to use heroin. Following his discharge from the service, Ed returned to Los Angeles and sang on jam sessions hosted by pianist Hampton Hawes and others at others at nightclubs all over L.A., and on amateur nights at the Lincoln Theater on Central Avenue. As his addiction progressed, Reed spent more than a decade of his life behind bars for crimes related to heroin addiction in the 1950’s and 60’s. Those years weren’t entirely wasted because he had the opportunity to rub shoulders—and even perform—with jazz greats such as Art Pepper, Dexter Gordon, Frank Morgan, Hadley Calliman, Frank Butler and other jazz greats who, when they unfortunately had to pass through San Quentin, played in the warden’s big band at San Quentin.
Ed has been clean and sober for the past 25 years and works with addicts, alcoholics, and their families as a health educator. He started singing again in public in the early 1990s at Bay Area restaurants. In 2005, he went to JazzCamp West where he met Peck Allmond, a multi-instrumentalist, who convinced Ed that he should record. His first recording, the widely acclaimed Ed Reed Sings Love Stories, was released in 2007, followed by The Song Is You in 2008, and Born to Be Blue in 2011 – each to critical praise nationally and internationally. Reed’s ability to get inside a lyric has been noted by numerous reviewers. According to jazz critic Andrew Gilbert: “One of jazz's most keenly observant singers, Reed is a balladeer with a fine-grained baritone who turns familiar standards into wrenching tales.”
In just a few short years, Ed’s music has been reviewed by numerous jazz critics and played on radio stations across the country. His story of addiction, multiple incarcerations, recovery, and life in music has been the subject of articles in jazz magazines Downbeat, Jazziz, and Jazz Times, and newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, Boston Globe, Boston Phoenix, and the Wall Street Journal. Ed was a guest on Marian McPartland's NPR "Piano Jazz" show in 2008. He was voted a Male Vocalist Rising Star in the annual Downbeat Critics’ Poll (2008, 2009, 2011) and in the annual Downbeat Readers’ Poll (2011). Born to Be Blue was named a Downbeat Editors Pick in July 2011. He has performed at internationally renowned clubs, including the Jazz Standard in New York, Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, Jazz Alley in Seattle, Yoshi’s in Oakland and San Francisco, and Marians Jazzroom in Bern, Switzerland. He just returned from New York, Boston, and Hartford where he toured in January 2012 with his Born to Be Blue quartet. In July 2011, DownBeat wrote: “When Ed Reed sings... look for an intimate story every time... he establishes a connection to the lyrics and phrasing … that is both beautiful and uncanny.”
Randy Porter is an Oregon resident well known for his fine jazz piano performances. Though his early years in San Diego were immersed in classical, jazz, and R & B, he did not receive formal musical instruction until high school. Porter credits the late Dr. Frank Marks at Humboldt State University for his classical training and musical inspiration. His jazz teachers at New England Conservatory, Fred Hersch and the late Jaki Baird along with Art Lande and Butch Lacey, also enhanced his musical scope. As a Steinway Artist, Porter draws from a rich palette of sonorities found within his imagination and the depths of the piano. As a jazz musician, Porter has a refined understanding of improvisation and the spontaneous communication between musicians. Lynn Darroch of The Oregonian states, “Porter has built a reputation as a musician’s musician, a knowledgeable, inventive, and sophisticated player with a remarkable sense of time and gorgeous keyboard facility.”
Randy Porter has performed with many jazz greats, including Freddy Hubbard, Art Farmer, Benny Golson and Wynton Marsalis. Porter has also toured with the Charles MacPherson Quartet in China and Italy. The Charles McPherson Quartet has performed the music from the classic recording “Charlie Parker with Strings” featuring Porter as pianist/ arranger/conductor with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra. Porter also performed on the Charles McPherson CD, Illusion in Blue. Porter’s varied musical experiences include the Hollywood Bowl with Diane Schuur, the Monterey Jazz Festival and the San Jose Jazz Festival with Madeline Eastman, and appearances with the San Diego Symphony Pops and Oregon Symphony. Porter often tours Europe with Portland bassist, David Friesen and plays on Friesen’s latest CD, Live in Stockholm. Porter’s own recordings include Brio with John Wiitala on bass and Reinhardt Melz on drums, Modern Reflection with Nancy King on vocals, Leroy Vinnegar on bass and Mel Brown on drums, and Eight Little Feet with Bob Magnusson on bass and Joe LaBarbera on drums.
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Musically Minded Academy
Musically Minded Academy instructors have captured the joy of music education and are devoted to imparting it to our students. Musically Minded offers a unique music education programs designed to help students develop a passion not only for individual instruments, but for excellent musicianship.
We strive to take our students beyond basic skills such as technique, reading, rhythm training, ear training, music theory, and performance skills. We hope to instill the inspiration, confidence, discipline, clear goals and self-motivation that characterize the complete musician.