For 31 years Eddie Edwards served as CEO and President of the Louis Armstrong Foundation, Inc.
A native of New Orleans, La. the birth place of Jazz, Mr. Edwards was born to a Black Creole family. With five generations of musicians with roots dating back to the early 1700’s, Eddie Edwards was introduced to the jazz by his great uncles who played jazz in the local society halls. Eddie Edwards followed the jazz into the military where he qualified for the U.S. Coast Guard Drum & Bugle Corps after only three weeks of basic training. Eddie Edwards served eight honorable years in the U.S. Coast Guard.
In 1958, after serving an honorable and joyful military career, Mr. Edwards followed the jazz into the Berklee College of Music, Boston, Mass. where he is an alumni; and in 1962 was invited to join the great Sun Ra Orchestra. In 1964 he retired from the Su Ra Orchestra and joined forces with the Canadian Broadcast Company to serve as Creator, Producer, and Director of Music Canada.
In 1965, at the request of Lucille Armstrong wife of the great Louis Armstrong (friends of Eddie Edwards since age 10), Eddie Edwards would create the Louis Armstrong Foundation, Inc. The same year Eddie Edwards with the support of Music Canada and the (CBC) Canadian Broadcast Company, joined forces with producer Ron Scribner of The Big Land Agency, Toronto, Canada.
By 1967, Eddie Edwards served as Musical Director for the 1967 Canadian World Fair Exposition - Expo 67. Also that year, Eddie Edwards signed a recording contract with Prestige Records. The jazz group Eddie Edwards created was called "The Young Ones".
This group went on to record 32 hours of music created by Eddie Edwards releasing their first album in 1967, entitled "Is It Too Late?" Eddie Edwards received his first serious music award from the University of Toronto for his musical compositions and lyrical presentations of the Prestige recording "Is It Too Late?".
February 24, 1936 - March 20, 2016
Eddie Edwards, President
Louis Armstrong Foundation, Inc
Jazz Master, Jazz Historian, Jazz Musician
Satisfied with his musical achievement for the first time Eddie decided to give back. Eddie Edwards in 1972 retired from the music industry and created a traveling communal group called the "Mud People". This group was made up of University professors, an attorney, a doctor totaling 16 in all. The purpose was to teach universal brotherhood, New Orleans Jazz, and encourage better race relations among all people. This group traveled to the banks of the Mississippi River in the parish of St. John in the town of Wallace, La. to work in the community with the objective to create better race relations between people of all races. This 22 month experience proved to be an overwhelming success climaxing with a three day musical festival that drew more than 32, 000 visitors to the river bank.
At the climax of the Mud People Group experience Edwards returned to Hollywood and signed on as composer/writer for 20th Century Fox. Eddie Edwards remained in this position participating in more than 37 major film projects.
In 1985 Eddie Edwards returned to New Orleans after a successful film writing career and created the Louis Armstrong Foundation, Inc. The objective: to fulfill the dreams of Mr. Louis Daniel Armstrong to give back to the underprivileged through sharing the knowledge, love, and most of all, the jazz with the people.
Eddie Edwards for the past 31 years have served as President of the Louis Armstrong Foundation, Inc.
Eddie Edwards for 5 years served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Friends of the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive, Tulane University curator Curt Jerde (1985 - 1990).
Eddie Edwards served as assistant curator for the Louisiana State Museum - Jazz Collection, housed at the Old U.S. Mint Building (1987 - 1993). curator Don Marquis, Museum Director Jim Sefcik.
In 1969, Eddie Edwards signed a recording contract with Electra Records to join the group Rhinoceros. With Rhinoceros, Eddie Edwards composed, recorded, and performed to standing room only audiences at Carnegie Hall, and drew 22,000 people in Madison Square Garden. The group drew 45,000 to Randall's Island, and performed in five movies, countless television shows, and traveled the globe.
Eddie Edwards interview for BRAVO Films
The Board of The Friends of the Jazz Archives at the opening of the LaRocca Room. Back Row, l-r Plato Smith, Al Rose, Eddie Edwards, Eddie Bayard, Philip Leinbach, Conrad Jones, and Curt Jerde. Front row, l-r Bill Russell, Frances Fernandez and Jacob Sciambra.