Over the past twenty-five years James Reid has performed hundreds of times throughout the United States and Canada appearing in concerts for guitar societies, colleges and universities, and for arts councils. He has also been a featured artist at numerous festivals including the Sun Waves Guitar Festival in Miami, the Portland Guitar Festival, Guitar New Orleans, The Guitar and Lute Institute, The Elkhorn Festival, and the Fairbanks Summer Music Festival. In addition, his music has been aired on many public radio and television broadcasts in the west. Mr. Reid is also the founder of the Northwest Guitar Festival and the director of the guitar program at the University of Idaho.
Mr. Reid has released seven solo recordings that have been reviewed favorably both here and abroad. He has commissioned works by Bryan Johanson, Andrew York, Maximo Diego Pujol, and Gwyneth Walker and he regularly features recent compositions in his recital programs. In addition, he performs classics of the guitar repertoire by composers such as Mertz, Giuliani, Bach, and Sor. Mr. Reid has three times given presentations at international guitar festivals; on the music of Abel Carlevaro, on the music of Maximo Diego Pujol, and on the music of Bryan Johanson. In 1998, he was the recipient of a grant from the University of Idaho Research Council to record the music of the 19th century virtuoso-composer Johann Kaspar Mertz. In September of 1999 his recording, Sounds of the Bard, was featured on National Public Radio’s Performance Today program. Most recently, Mr. Reid has released, Portraits, which features world premiere recordings of Laminas de Invierno by Argentine composer Maximo Diego Pujol and Mr. Reid’s own suite, Portraits.
Aside from his activities as a performer and teacher Mr. Reid served for eight years as the Review Editor for Recordings for Soundboard, the quarterly publication of the Guitar Foundation of America. He has also served as a judge for numerous state, regional, national, and international competitions.
“...it was wonderful to see Mr. Reid possess a perfect mastering of his fingerwork. Both his left and his right hand stroked the strings seemingly effortlessly, betraying years of dedicated practice.” --Kootenay News
“Reid is a Northwest treasure who deserves more national attention.” --Moscow-Pullman Daily News
“Reid brought a nice elegance to the music with very clean ornaments and quiet squeak-free playing.” --Seattle Classic Guitar Society
On the recording Birds:
“It is a very solid effort, featuring the complete Preludios Americanos of Carlevaro as well the eponymous work by John Duarte and and two pieces by Albeniz. The gem of the album is the set Four American Folk Songs written for Reid by Gwyneth Walker. This work is in the same vein as Robert Beaser's Mountain Songs but is much less hard-edged, providing one of the most succesful treastments of American songs I have heard.”--Albert Kunze, Soundboard
On the recording Sounds of the Bard:
“James Reid performs the pieces very well. This is a clear, closely recorded CD with some very pleasant moments.” --Classical Guitar Magazine
On the recording Higher Ground:
“The classical guitar has seldom had a more elegant steward, and here Reid performs a rich array of classical and contemporary pieces.” --Canon Press
“Reid invested his program with rare qualities of restraint and taste.” --Ellensburg Daily Record