Jar-e (born Jon Reid) was born in Kansas, so perfectly at midnight that the doctor let his mother choose between the 17th and the 18th of September as his official birth date. She chose the 17th in honor of her 17 hours of labor. The baby of his family of 5, jar-e would ride in the way back of the station wagon on cross-country car trips, suitcases stacked to make a bed, and would press his ear to the speakers and listen to the Beatles, Motown and 80's pop radio as they drove on through the night
Proficient on upright bass, trumpet, piano, and guitar, jar-e opted against jazz school and attended college in Asheville, North Carolina in order to major in Spanish which later led him to travel and live in Mexico and Central America. His world-influenced bi-lingual songs got their start in a five piece jazz-hip-hop outfit named ooloo orchestra. The group would regularly invite poets MCs and others to improvise in genre-defying live shows around the Asheville area. Upon graduation and now a fixture on the eclectic Asheville, NC scene, jar-e formed North of Cuba (NOC). jar-e was introduced to CT based label, Exotic Recordings by his former ooloo bandmate, J. DiMenna, who invited the group to New York City for their first artist showcase.
The show gave birth to a marathon 28-hour recording session which resulted in a scorching three song demo that recalled everything from early Bob Marley to Rhodes-heavy soul-rock like Medeski, Martin and Wood.
Determined to pursue his own path in life and music, jar-e left Asheville and NOC to spend six months in Europe, absorbing and making sounds from Spain to Greece. The result was his debut album, Heartache. From stripped down acoustic compositions in a lo-fi wash to reverb heavy r&b that rolls by like D'Angelo, and on into sweet funk, Heartache is a journey through the blues, in all its self-taught, self-recorded glory.
After spending two years on the road with friend and label-mate, J. DiMenna, as Rhodes player and harmony singer, jar-e moved temporarily to New Haven, CT to work with Exotic in-house producer, Keith "Touch" Saunders. Biding his time between recording sessions, he spent his time delivering chicken wings and volunteering as a lab-rat at for Yale researchers in order to pay the bills.
The result of nearly a year of constant work, War Songs and the Muse is the perfect metamorphosis of his diverse influences -- everyone from Manu Chao and Joao Gilberto to Van Morrison and Stevie Wonder -- into his own sound which travels from classic ballads reminiscent of Elton John to the forward sounds and sampling of Gnarls Barkley.
Jar-e is currently based in Asheville, NC, his college hometown, where he is cultivating a rabid fan base with his new live band featuring Molly Reed, Eleanore Underhill and Jane Edens (Barrel House Mamas), David Mack (Granola Funk Express, Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work), and Matt Smith (Pierce Edens and the Dirty Work),