Chris Reed knew from an early age he wanted to be a musician. Since picking up the miniature accordion as a toddler, he’s become versed on vocals, the saxophone, ukelele, harmonica, melodica and guitar, among other instruments.

The 30-year-old South Bay resident began his musical career in blues, funk and reggae before branching out to other genres. His reggae band Aivar (2006-2011) was named “Best Band” by Metro in 2010 and performed with international acts such as The English Beat, Collie Buddz, Booker T and The Dirty Heads and on the Vans Warped Tour stage. These days, he’s teaching music and theater in local schools. What do you do for work?

I develop and teach music and theater in schools for children aged 4 to 13. As an artist, you often have to wear many hats. I am grateful to have found a way to incorporate my passion for the arts and share that with our youth here in the South Bay. I am currently teaching band (clarinet, flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, percussion), guitar, choir, general music education and drama in seven schools. I work with an average of 300 to 500 students a week. Aside from those programs, I also play regular shows as well as perform for blind and physically impaired preschoolers.

What brought you to San Jose?

I was born and raised in the South Bay.

What musical projects do you have in the works right now?

I am currently supporting the release of my debut solo album, Sweet Destiny.

What inspires you?

The world we live in can be such an inspirational place. Everyday I am inspired by different things. Sometimes it‘s the smile on my wife’s face or the way the fall leaves change and illuminate as the sun sets. Whatever it is, I try to expose myself to new experiences daily because we are merely a culmination of our experiences and that is all I have to speak from. The people in my life, their life, personality and struggle have all taught and inspired me.

What do you like most about South Bay?

I love the diversity and perfect weather.

Where would you have your last meal on earth?

Millennium or Gracias Madre in San Francisco.
Where is a cool place to take an out-of-towner?

I always enjoy taking people to out beautiful California wineries in the Saratoga hills.

Name your favorite hole-in-the-wall place to grub:

Good Karma.

Where’s the best place to get a cup of coffee in San Jose?

My house. I make a fresh pot of Turkish coffee every morning.

Name your favorite upcoming San Jose event:

I enjoy First Fridays.

Name three things every local should do this fall in San Jose:

Express your gratitude openly. Dance in a pile of leaves. Come to one of my shows and say hi.