"We were approached by so many of my dad's friends who just wanted to express their appreciation, show their respect, and help out," says Teddy Edwards, Jr. "A friend, Bryon Winston, came up with the idea of having a tribute now, basically, giving him his flowers while he can still smell them."
Friends and peers expected to perform on Sunday include: Ernie Andrews, Gary Bell, John Bolivar, Frank Capp, Ndugu Chancellor, Gene Diamond, Leslie Drayton, George Harper, Art Hillary, Dr. Roland Holmes, Linda Hopkins, Sweet Baby Jai', James Janisse, Gerryck King, Saskia Laroo, Al McKibbon, Barbara Morrison, Larry Nash, Chuck Niles, Carl Randall, James Smith, Phil Upchurch, Louis Van Taylor, Spanky Wilson and the Teddy Edwards' String Ensemble.
Teddy Edwards was born in 1924 and received his first alto saxophone at age 11. In 1945, Teddy joined Roy Milton's Rhythm and Blues Band and a year later, made his first historic recording with trumpeter Howard McGhee. The song, "Up In Dodo's Room," features what is acknowledged to be "the first tenor sax solo in the bebop idiom," according to the late great trumpeter, Fats Navarro. In 1947, Teddy recorded his first million-seller "Blues In Teddy's Flat." At the end of the decade, the famous jazz club, the Lighthouse, opened and Teddy became one of the original Lighthouse All-Stars. From then on Teddy was playing jazz clubs and festivals around the world. Highlights from his vast and varied career include: playing the first Monterey Jazz Festival with the Leroy Vinegar Quartet; writing music for the World's Fair with Benny Goodman, as well as performing with him at Disneyland; touring with Goodman, Bobby Hackett, Vince Guaraldi and Marilyn Moore; toured Japan with Milt Jackson and Ray Brown; toured Europe with the International Jazz Festivals in Norway, Holland and Belgium; toured Europe, Australia and New Zealand with Tom Waits; played on the One From The Heart soundtrack for the film directed by Francis Ford Coppola with Waits and Crystal Gayle; taped 7 ½ hour interview for Rutgers University and Library of Congress for their archives; released his first CD-Mississippi Ladd-in 1991 for Polygram; starred in the film The River Bottom about the homeless; played the Hollywood Bowl in LA with the LA Sax Giants; performed with Ray Brown at the "Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald" at the Hollywood Bowl; returned to the Lincoln Center to pay tribute to Count Basie and Thelonious Monk; among countless other achievements. It was in 1976, while recovering from an operation, that he began to compose for a full orchestra, which was to become the Brass String Ensemble and in 1977 Teddy conducted his own compositions with a 33-piece orchestra at the Wilshire Ebell in Los Angeles. In addition, a documentary, appropriately titled "The Legend of Teddy Edwards," directed by Don McGlynn has also screened at various film festivals around the globe.
Despite his health problems over the last decade, Teddy has remained active, writing for the Brass String Ensemble, recording and performing-doing the things he has loved to do all his life. He has also written his first novel, Paris Nights, which will be published later this year by Vantage Press. "My dad always felt he wasn't going to get the recognition due him until after he was gone," states Teddy, Jr. "Now people are in the process of proving him wrong." "A Sunday Afternoon For Teddy" is at the Musicians Union, 817 N. Vine Street, Hollywood, CA this Sunday, February 2. The event is from 2-6pm and admission is $20.00 at the door. All proceeds with go directly to Teddy Edwards' medical care.
Contact: Tresa Redburn/DEPT 56/818 702 6253