During the past several years, Ed Polcer has become one of the most sought after performers on the jazz festival circuit. He has appeared in hundreds of concerts, festivals and jazz parties throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, including numerous return appearances at the Newport/Kool/JVC Festival in New York. Ed's musical versatility and leadership have earned him a reputation as a dynamic bandleader, and he is often called upon to organize festivals, concerts, dances and parties.
Ed joined Benny Goodman's Sextet for an American tour in 1973. An expert showman, Ed has led numerous concerts with varied themes, including his extensive U.S. tours for Columbia Artists. In 1992, '93 and '94." A Night At Eddie Condon's", transported the audience back to the famous nightclub and gave a musical retrospective of American jazz over the last 100 years.
Since 1996, Ed's "Magic of Swing Street" has offered classic jazz in its many forms as it was played on New York's fabled W. 52nd Street. "The Magic of Swing Street" has been performed at jazz festivals worldwide, including four appearances at New York's Lincoln Center. He has also performed the show with several symphony orchestras. Ed's recent presentation, "When Broadway Meets Swing Street", merges show tunes with the world of swing. "Lionel, Red & Bunny" is a centennial celebration of legendary jazz musicians Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo and Bunny Berigan. Ed established a second residence in New Orleans for several years, where he felt reinvigorated by playing in a variety of venues with musicians of all ages. He has especially enjoyed playing with a young generation of jazz musicians. Currently, Ed has become involved in the functioning of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens. He finds self-fulfillment by giving live music demonstration to the school groups that visit the Armstrong House on a daily basis. Some weeks, several hundred students (grades two through high school) visit with their teachers. He also conducts occasional tours to visitors from around the world.
In the mid '90's, Ed toured Germany as the leader of an international band, and toured Japan with the World's Greatest Jazz Band. In 2004, he was honored to play for the official opening of the Louis Armstrong House museum, and became a member of the Statesmen of Jazz. President Clinton invited Ed to play for the 1994 Congressional Ball in the White House, and in 2001, Ed appeared in a command performance in Bangkok for the King of Thailand.
If you dropped in at Eddie Condon's club in New York City between 1975 and 1985, chances are good you ran across Ed. Besides being the resident cornetist and bandleader at that historic jazz spot, he was also the manager and co-owner.Like many jazzmen, Ed comes from a musical family. His father and uncle were prominent horn players in New Jersey, where Ed grew up. He made his musical debut at the age of six as a xylophonist. At Princeton University, he joined Stan Rubin's Tigertown Five, perhaps the best-known collegiate Dixieland group of the day. With that band he made several Carnegie Hall appearances and performed at the wedding of Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly in Monaco.
Ed's production company, "Blewz Manor Productions", has issued several recordings and promoted numerous concerts and festivals throughout the United States and Europe. He has recorded extensively and his playing can be heard on the soundtracks of several movies. His CD "Let's Hit It!" was nominated for a 2003 TEC Award for Technical Excellence and Creativity.
In the 1980's, Ed was honored to serve as President of the International Art of Jazz, as well as a member of the Advisory Panel of the Jazz Musicians Foundation of New York. Ed's biography has been included in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, the Encyclopedia of Jazz in the '70s and the Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz, both compiled by Leonard Feather and Ira Gitler, and Trumpet Kings by Scott Yanow. In Great Britain, Ed is listed inThe Guinness Who's Who of Jazz, as well as Jazz, the Essential Companion and Jazz, the Rough Guide. Chip Deffaaa devoted a full chapter to Ed in Traditionalists and Revivalists in Jazz.