Eddie Edwards (musician)

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File:Eddie Edwards.jpg
Edwin B. Edwards, c. 1921.

Edwin Branford "Eddie" Edwards (May 22, 1891 – April 9, 1963) was an early jazz trombonist, best known for his pioneering recordings with the Original Dixieland Jass Band.[1]

Life and career

Eddie Edwards was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, started playing violin at age 10, and took up trombone in addition at 15.[1] He played both instruments professionally, including with the bands of Papa Jack Laine and Ernest Giardina. In addition to music Edwards played minor-league baseball and worked as an electrician.

In 1916 he was picked by Alcide Nunez to go to Chicago, Illinois to play trombone with Johnny Stein's Jazz Band. With a few changes of personnel this band became the famous Original Dixieland Jazz Band which made the first records of jazz music in 1917. He played on one of the first commercially released jazz recordings, "Livery Stable Blues", later released as "Barnyard Blues".

He left the band after being drafted into the United States Army. The O.D.J.B. replaced him with Emile Christian. Edwards served in the Army from July 1918 to March 1919. After discharge he led a band of his own and worked in the band of Jimmie Durante before returning to the O.D.J.B.

After the breakup the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Edwards again led his own band in New York City for most of the 1920s. In the early 1930s he retired from music and ran a newspaper stand and worked as a sports coach.

He returned to music when Nick LaRocca reformed the O.D.J.B. in 1936, playing with them until 1938. He played with other bands including O.D.J.B. alumni Larry Shields, Tony Sbarbaro, and J. Russell Robinson in New York into the 1940s. He continued playing professionally irregularly until shortly before his death in New York City in 1963.

Jazz musician Johnny Wiggs said that while he'd heard more sophisticated trombone players, he'd "never heard another trombonist who could give a band the rhythmic punch that Edwards could."[2]

His composition "Sensation Rag" or "Sensation" was performed at the 1938 landmark Benny Goodman jazz concert at Carnegie Hall released on the album The Famous 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert.


The ODJB 1917 recording of "Darktown Strutters' Ball" on Columbia was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2006.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Wynn, Ron. "Eddie Edwards: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Jazz Age Music.


  • The ODJB on RedHotJazz Contains .ram files of their vintage recordings.
  • Stewart, Jack. "The Original Dixieland Jazz Band's Place in the Development of Jazz." New Orleans International Music Colloquium, 2005.
  • Lange, Horst H. Wie der Jazz begann: 1916-1923, von der "Original Dixieland Jazz Band" bis zu King Olivers "Creole Jazz Band". Berlin: Colloquium Verlag, 1991. ISBN 3-7678-0779-3
  • Brunn, H.O. The Story of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1960. Reprinted by Da Capo Press, 1977. ISBN 0-306-70892-2
  • Gracyk, Tim, Frank Hoffmann, and B. Lee Cooper. Popular American Recording Pioneers: 1895-1925. (Haworth Popular Culture). Routledge, 2000.
  • Tim's Phonograph's and Old Records: The Original Dixieland Jass Band (ODJB).