Throughout all the years I have been following jazz I have very rarely seen the cello played in that music genre. So I was intrigued when I heard of jazz cellist, Tomeka Reid. And if you check out the latest jazz polls the cello is still listed as a miscellaneous instrument. But in the hands of Tomeka Reid, it is essential. She grew up outside of Washington D.C. and started playing the cello at age 4. She studied classical music since her teens and through her 20's. In her last year at college, she started checking out jazz music which was suggested by her undergrad mentor. She moved to Chicago in 2000 to continue her education and complete her graduate music program. There in Chicago is where she connected with flutist/composer, Nicole Mitchell and this relationship shifted her aesthetic orientation. She was embraced by the improvisational community and there she began to flourish. Tomeka Reid is a cellist, composer, arranger, and bandleader. She says she really loves free playing and emphasizes her electronic-like edginess spiking her sound is intentional. She wants to change the way people see or hear the cello. She doesn't want people to think that the instrument is only a mellow one but one that can produce sounds that she can bend, slide, and create different qualities that she is still exploring. Last year she released her second album, Old New, and has since moved to Queens, New York. Check out this talented cellist and support independent music and musicians. Happy listening!