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July 23, 2019

Eric Reed, a world-class pianist and composer, will play with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra at a special 20th anniversary indoor session of “Jazz on the Square” in The Square Room.

The free performance, part of the regular “Jazz on the Square” sessions in the summer, will be held Tuesday, July 23, at 8 p.m. in downtown Knoxville at 4 Market Square. Doors open at 7:15 p.m., and seating is first-come, first-served. The concert also is part of the preparation for the jazz orchestra’s new album. On Wednesday, the orchestra will start studio production for a 20th Anniversary CD.

“This will be a milestone year for the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra,” said Vance Thompson, the director and founder of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra. “This special edition of ‘Jazz on the Square’ brings back Eric Reed, who played with us in 2012 in a tribute to pianist Thelonious Monk. Eric is an established talent in his own right and has worked with musical greats, including Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Buster Williams and Wynton Marsalis.”

Three of Reed’s albums have been featured on the Billboard Top Jazz Albums chart, and his music has been featured in multiple films, including “Life,” a 1999 comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. 

Reed also has taught music and mentored students at The Juilliard School, The New School in New York and the Manhattan School of Music. In recent years, he has returned to his roots to play gospel, the genre that helped him establish the principles of music as a child.

The 2019-2020 Knoxville Jazz Orchestra regular season gets underway Oct. 1 at the Bijou Theatre, and the first performance of Live at Lucille’s is Sept. 20 at East Tennessee PBS Studio. Live at Lucille’s is a new series now in its second year. Learn more about the orchestra at

The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra was founded in 1999 by trumpeter, arranger and composer Vance Thompson. Since that time, the band has appeared on jazz festivals in the United States and Europe, released four critically acclaimed CD recordings and presented scores of concerts, many featuring world-renowned guest artists. Visit to learn more.