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Mike Reed

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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.

People Places and Things: Second Cities Volume 1
People Places and Things: Second Cities Volume 1 (2013)
PP&T is joined by some of the masters of the Dutch improvised music scene.
"...the group’s most diverse record to date." - Chicago Reader
People Places and Things: Clean on the Corner
People Places and Things: Clean on the Corner (2012)
The fourth release by Reed's acclaimed quartet.
"This Corner is at an intersection of Eric Dolphy, Mingus, Art Ensemble of Chicago, and Johnny Griffin - location, location, location!" - Icon
Loose Assembly: Empathetic Parts
Loose Assembly: Empathetic Parts (2010)
..with Roscoe Mitchell.
"A cross-generational summit meeting between one of the organization's key founders and its newest heir..." - AAJ
People Places and Things: Stories and Negotiations
People Places and Things: Stories and Negotiations (2010)
"Editors' Picks, March 1, 2010" - Downbeat
"Top 10 Jazz Albums, 2010" - NPR
"...this stuff is a blast." - Dusted
People Places and Things: About Us
People Places and Things: About Us (2009)
The second in a trilogy of explorations of Chicago jazz past and present
"...my favorite group in town..." - Chicago Reader
"...as deliciously tuneful as free jazz gets..." - JazzTimes
Loose Assembly: Speed of Change
Loose Assembly: Speed of Change (2008)
The much-anticipated follow-up to Last Year's Ghost
"A compelling album filled with myriad moods..." - All About Jazz
People Places and Things: Proliferation
People Places and Things: Proliferation (2008)
An exhilarating evocation of late-50s post-bop Chicago
"I don't know if I've enjoyed a jazz album more this year." - Chicago Reader
Loose Assembly: Last Years Ghost
Loose Assembly: Last Years Ghost (2007)
with Greg Ward, Jason Adasiewicz, Tomeka Reid and Josh Abrams.
"A brilliant debut..." - All About Jazz
"...a well-designed collection of hook-filled tunes and atmospheric interludes..." - Point of Departure
In The Context Of
In The Context Of (2006)
Duets with Jeff Parker, Nicole Mitchell and Jim Baker
"...a stunning and imaginative player" - All About Jazz

More Information

"...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

"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 Release482 Music

Reed goes beyond artistic boundaries

The Man Who Makes It Happen

The Jazz Session with Jason Crane

New Constellation in city's entertainment galaxy

Mike Reed website

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