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Ed Reed

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Jazz vocalist and life survivor Ed Reed spent his childhood growing up in Watts, CA in the 1930s and '40s where he picked up a few singing tricks from jazz great Charles Mingus who occasionally minded his sister's children in the house across the street from where Reed lived. Reed left high school without graduating and enlisted in the U.S. Army. While serving, he developed a serious heroin addiction, which in turn led to four stints in San Quentin and Folsom prisons (during one incarceration he sang in a jazz combo that included fellow inmate Art Pepper). When not serving time, Reed sang wherever he could, doing the local circuit of open mics. Finally in 1985, after some forty years of serious drug addiction, he entered a program that helped him kick his drug dependency. Hoping to help others, he developed a personal lecture series called The Art of Living Well. In February 2006 he recorded his debut album, Love Stories, at Bay Records in Berkeley, CA and released it on his own Blue Shorts Records. ~ Steve Leggett

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