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"Reed can keep time, break down grooves, drive the bus, or paint pictures - sometimes in the same piece - but his decisions are driven by what's best for the ensemble." - Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
Jazz Artist, Rising Star - 2009 Downbeat Critics Poll
Mike Reed is a musician, composer and presenter based in Chicago.
As a drummer, Reed has been part of the vibrant Chicago jazz and improvised music community since 1997. He has performed regularly with local luminaries such as Fred Anderson, David Boykin, Nicole Mitchell, Jeff Parker, Josh Abrams, Jim Baker, and Rob Mazurek, as well as Chicago Jazz legends Ira Sullivan, Julian Priester and Art Hoyle. As a performer he tours extensively in Europe and South America. While performing in a variety of projects locally, nationally and internationally, Reed also leads two widely acclaimed groups, Loose Assembly and People, Places & Things. Reed was named Chicagoan of the Year for Jazz (2008) by the Chicago Tribune and in the 57th annual Downbeat critics poll was distinguished as "Rising Jazz Star". (People, Places & Things also named as "Rising Jazz Group".)
Over the course of a decade Reed has also established himself as a leading producer of musical performances and advocate for the performing arts. He is one of the main organizers for Umbrella Music, a five member team presenting weekly Jazz and Improvised music at various Chicago venues (approximating 280 sets of music per year as well as an accompanying festival). As a fresh addition to the historical collective known as the AACM, Reed was named Vice Chairmen in the spring of 2009. In other areas Reed works with the City of Chicago as a member of the Chicago Jazz Festival planning committee, programing partner for the Downtown Sound series at Millennium Park. Most notably Reed is the Director of the internationally renown Pitchfork Music Festival, drawing over 50,000 attendees to Chicago over 3 days and featuring today's most cutting edge rock and pop artists.
"...Reed manifests a restive intelligence deeply rooted in jazz but eager to transcend the genre\'s limitations. His experimentalism has been cultivated amidst a new AACM-influenced-and-affiliated generation of adventurous players who are as comfortable in a post-rock band like Tortoise as in a Sun Ra-inspired group such as the Exploding Star Orchestra." — Derk Richardson, The Absolute Sound
"A multithreat musician who thrives as soloist, bandleader, presenter and global talent scout, Reed has emerged as a center of gravity for music in Chicago (and beyond)." — Howard Reich, The Chicago Tribune
"In the tradition of steady Chicago jazz sticksmen like Wilbur Campbell, Reed seems to thrive most as a near-invisible workhorse, a selfless empowerer of groove; he’s eager to let others in his groups shine..." — Matthew Lurie, Time Out Chicago
"Reed can keep time, break down grooves, drive the bus, or paint pictures--sometimes in the same piece--but his decisions are driven by what\'s best for the ensemble." — Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader
Press Release — 482 Music