Eric was born in the musically rich city of Philadelphia, PA. A child prodigy born with a God-given gift, Eric started playing piano at the age of two in his father’s storefront Baptist church and began private studies by the age of seven. The family moved to Los Angeles and still a teenager he started working with West Coast luminaries such as Buddy Collette, Teddy Edwards, Clora Bryant, Jeff & John Clayton. During his first year of matriculation at California State University at Northridge, he received a call from controversial trumpeter Wynton Marsalis to do a tour of the Midwest. Leaving college life behind, Eric began touring the world both as a leader and sideman, making serious waves in the music industry. He garnered great notice as a permanent member of Wynton Marsalis’ ensembles (1990-95), making countless recordings and TV appearances with him. He also worked in the bands of Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson (1991-92) after which his résumé would flourish with names such as Wayne Shorter, Jessye Norman, Patti Labelle, Edwin Hawkins, Quincy Jones, Natalie Cole and numerous others. Eric has recorded over twenty chart-topping, critically-acclaimed, award-winning projects. Such accomplishments and hard work have not gone unnoticed by legendary pianist Ahmad Jamal, who has called Eric “one of my very favorite pianists.”
Beyond playing the piano, Eric Reed expanded his scope to Hollywood, composing and arranging music for the Eddie Murphy comedy ‘Life’, and various other independent projects for Fantastic Four director Tim Story. 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.
Eric's latest recording, THE DANCING MONK is a loving tribute to the late, great genius Thelonious Monk. The recording has garnered high praises from critics everywhere, including the iconic pianist and composer’s son T.S Monk who said, “Your love and respect for my father oozes from every track. You really get it!!”
Eric Reed performing Thelonious Monk's "Reflections"
Eric Reed, Kenny Barron, Mulgrew Miller, Dado Moroni: An Evening With Two Pianos. Thelonious Monk's "Rhythm-ning"
Eric Reed with Wynton Marsalis Septet at the White House
Eric Reed and Marian McPartland. Verizon commercial