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SideDoor Jazz Club

85 Lyme Street

Old Lyme, CT 06371

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Ed Reed, vocals
Gary Fisher, piano
Jamie Fox, guitar
John Benitez, bass
Alvester Garnett, drums

Ed Reed was born on February 2, 1929, in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Los Angeles with his family in 1936. At age 11, he learned how to sing to chord changes from his neighbor's younger brother, then-teenage bassist Charles Mingus. At 17, he dropped out of school and joined the army where he got into drugs. After leaving the service with a general discharge, he sang in talent shows and amateur nights, and performed as a vocalist with a combo led by now-legendary trumpeter Dupree Bolton, but his addiction to drugs undermined his singing career.

Reed spent more than a decade of his life behind bars for crimes related to heroin addiction, yet those years weren't entirely wasted, as he had the opportunity to rub shoulders and even perform with such jazz greats as Art Pepper, Dexter Gordon, and Frank Butler in the San Quentin Warden's Jazz Band.

Reed's story has become one of triumph of the human spirit over great adversity. He has been clean and sober since 1986 and continues to work as a health educator, lecturer, and trainer with addicts/alcoholics, their families, and program staff.

Reed started singing again publicly in the early 1990s. In 2005, he attended JazzCamp West where New York-based multi-instrumentalist Peck Allmond first heard him. This resulted in Reed's recording debut just before his 78th birthday with the widely acclaimed Ed Reed Sings Love Stories (2007), produced by Bud Spangler and followed a year later with The Song Is You. Allmond, who plays on both projects, wrote the arrangements for both albums and produced the second CD.

The concept for his third CD, Born to Be Blue (2011) was conceived during Reed's 5-night gig at Marians Jazz Room in Switzerland in 2009. The CD was an October 2011 DownBeat Editor's pick. In the words of one reviewer, the project "possesses all the distilled emotion and narrative coherence of a jazz masterpiece."

I'm a Shy Guy (2013) honors Reed's special relationship to the music of the King Cole Trio. As a self-conscious adolescent, it was easier for him to "talk" to girls on the phone by singing Trio ballads he heard on the radio. When the Trio came to his high school and met with members of the school choir after the performance, Reed was too shy to say hello or shake the hand of his hero, Nat Cole, when Cole stopped to talk to him. This project gave him the chance to revisit those old tunes (and feelings). DownBeat writes: "Many singers have done Cole tributes recently, but Reed's is among the best. Without stooping to imitate, he captures the spirit of Cole's wry humor and charm." The CD received a 4-star DownBeat review and selection as a DownBeat Editor's Pick.

In just a few short years, Ed Reed's music has been critically acclaimed and reviewed in myriad print and online jazz publications (including DownBeat, Jazziz, and JazzTimes to name a few), Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Seattle Times, and the Boston Globe. He was a guest on Marian McPartland's icionic "Piano Jazz" radio show on NPR stations in 2008, was profiled by Nat Hentoff in the Wall Street Journal in June 2009, and placed in the Male Vocalist Rising Star category of the Downbeat Critic's Poll in 6 out of the last 7 years - in 2014, he was voted #1 in that category.

Ed Reed has performed at internationally renowned clubs in New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and Bern, Switzerland. He was also a featured interviewee in "The Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story," a critically acclaimed film documentary released in 2014, and had the honor of giving a TEDx talk in Santa Cruz, CA in 2015.

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SideDoor Jazz Club

85 Lyme Street

Old Lyme, CT 06371

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