Hollywood-Hundreds of people crowded into the Musicians Union at 817 N. Vine St. in
Hollywood for a memorial concert for the late great tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards. This memorial
was filled with lots of jazz, blues and great camarade. Teddy Edwards was remembered as a fun loving,
father, brother, uncle and friend by all who knew him.
Teddy Edwards passed away on April 20th, in Los Angeles at the age of 78, after a long bout with
prostate cancer. Many people in the audience have seen Teddy perform all around Los Angeles, and all
over the world for years, and who also recall with fondness Teddys beautiful tone on the tenor that he
played with ease and his ability to play the tenor as if he was talking to you personality.
Art Collins a very close friend of Teddys served as Master of Ceremonies for this event. He also
shared very touching and sometimes funny stories of he good friend between sets.
Carol Robin (harp) and James Smitty Smith opened the show with a song by Chuck Mangione
entitled Bye Bye, a spiritual song appropriate for this occasion. Bernie Hamilton, brother of Chico
Hamilton recited an emotionally rich poem for Teddy. Trumpeter Clora Bryant remember Teddy in a
unique way by reciting a beautiful poem of his full name, Theodore Marcus Teddy Edwards. Each
letter of his name was followed by a word or phrase to describe Teddy and what his life meant to her.
Drummer Pete Peterson from New York read a story entitled The Bridge of Samuel Grey which he stated
correlated to the life of Teddy Edwards.
Art Collins summed up the afternoon perfectly by statingThis afternoon was not one of the
greatest occasion for the local jazz community to gather for a memorial for Teddy; he went on to say
that he felt a lot joy in the room. Drummers Frank Capp and Louie Bellson statedTeddy was the finest
gentleman one would have wished to meet and get to know. He Teddy havent left us, he still lives in
The second half of the program turned into a celebration of Teddys life and the legacy that he left
behind thru his many recordings. Diane Weatherspoon sang several tunes written by Teddy entitled L.A.
After Dark and a heartfelt version of Tenderly. Vocalist Gene Diamond followed with In The Evening
When The Sun Goes Down and segued into Everyday I Have The Blues to the delight of the
Trumpeter Carl Saunders picked up the tempo with Art Of May and closed with two tunes
composed by Duke Ellington entitled I Got It Bad And That Aint Good and the group smoked as he
took the crowd on a blazing trip thru the Saharas on the tune Caravan. Musician friend Gerald Wilson
recalled Teddy as being an exceptional musician, composer, arranger and fabulous tenor player.
Hollywood Charlie AKA Chuck Niles of KKJZ 88.1 FM ( Americas Number 1 Jazz Station) stated Teddys music is the artist played the most on his program throughout his long career as a radio
An impromptu jazz section followed featuring Kenny Burrell, Sal Marquez, Dan Weinstein, with
vocals provided by Sweet Baby Jai, Paula Kelly, Ernie Andrews, and Linda Hopkins. A familiar voice sat
down at the piano to play and sing. You could have heard a pin drop in the Union Hall as the capacity
crowd gave Tom Waits their undivided attention for his brief set. The afternoon also consisted of fond
recollections and performances by relatives of Teddy.
The family requested that anyone wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund to send a check or
money order to The Teddy Edwards Memorial Scholarship Fund-Compton College 1111 East Artesia Blvd
Compton, California, 90221. Proceeds from the memorial concert went to this worthy scholarship fund.