JOHN REED-TORRES is a ragtime pianist-composer from South-Central Los Angeles, California. He’s a graduate of Pasadena City College, volunteer at Old Town Music Hall in El Segundo, and law office clerk. Being primarily self-taught, it was through scholarships from the Neighborhood Music School in Boyle Heights and musical studies at Pasadena City College that John established himself as a nationally recognized composer and performer of America’s first music, ragtime.
By continuing the legacies of early African-American composers such as Scott Joplin, Arthur Marshall, James Scott and their contemporaries, John has created a social and musical world for himself within the ragtime community that has taken him out of the impoverished inner city and across the nation, in the name of sharing the music he loves. He has proudly performed his music and represented his home city in various venues across the U.S. and in Buenos Aires and at events such as the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, West Coast Ragtime Festival, Sutter Creek Ragtime Festival, the Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival as well as countless other music gatherings dedicated to celebrating vintage American music and culture.
Additionally, in January 2017, John released his first CD, “Angels Flight,” which contains 21 tracks of original compositions and classic ragtime. In his spare time, he enjoys shooting film photography, collecting antique sheet music, phonographs, 78 r.p.m. and cylinder records, and even automobiles. His daily vehicle is a 1972 Plymouth Valiant affectionately named Matilda. This is John’s second appearance at RagFest.