John Reed-Torres

Los Angeles
Added 10/10/2014

John Reed-Torres (aged 23) was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. The first time John recalls hearing a hint of Ragtime was during school recess in fifth grade. An ice cream truck came creeping along to the A theme of Joplin’s 'The Entertainer.' John smiles, "Right then and there ragtime bit me, and simultaneously released multiple inner infatuations that I now have for antiquity, ranging from architecture to automobiles."

Shortly after that, John began to teach himself piano throughout his middle school and early high school days. He worked up performances of Scott Joplin rags as well as classical pieces. In ’09, John began studies at Pasadena City College & the Neighborhood Music School in Boyle Heights, where he was able to begin formal piano lessons for the first time through the generosity of scholarship donors. He has since performed at various venues around Los Angeles, and in other states, including the Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, where John plays a pivotal role as head projectionist, pre-show performer, and many other things. John says of the Old Town Music Hall that “it’s a home away from home”. He’s even staged an annual “Young Ragtime Masters” concert there every September since 2012. He’s also performed at various Ragtime/Early Jazz Festivals such as the West Coast Ragtime Society festival, Blind Boone Ragtime & early Jazz Festival, Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival, Old Town Music Hall Ragtime Festival, Orange County Ragtime Festival, Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival, the Rose Leaf Club, the Jonathan Club, the Los Angeles Country Club, Etc…and He’s excited to be a new addition to next year’s Oakhurst Ragtime Festival.

John has written eight rags, and is working on several collaborations with friends such as Vincent Johnson, Michael Chisholm, and Frank Livolsi. He aspires to become a professional musician/ composer/ educator, and a history teacher. Being of a diverse ethnic heritage, John aims to acknowledge the links that connect us all, especially those through music. He wants to expound the many aspects of history, especially the history of ragtime, to his generation, so everyone will recognize ragtime as a monumental form in the development of culture and music.

About ragtime, John says, “Ragtime music is the delightfully infectious beat that lifted my people from places of disregard to places of notoriety, among the public view. - I really like this music, and it’s very fun to play, I understand its language. I believe that music is a universal language … [with] different dialects… I feel that Ragtime is the dialect that I understand and am able to convey best. I like when people tell me 'you have a good understanding of this genre; it sounds legit.’ That always puts a smile on my face.”