|Born||Stanley Ted Edwards
April 15, 1950
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Jango Edwards (born Stanley Ted Edwards, April 15, 1950, Detroit, Michigan) is an American clown and entertainer who has spent most of his career in Europe, primarily in France, Spain, Netherlands, and England. His performances are mostly one-man shows in the European cabaret tradition, in which he combines traditional clowning with countercultural and political references. Edwards built up a cult following over more than three decades of touring Europe with his shows.
Edwards grew up in Detroit, where his family owned a successful landscaping business. During the late 1960s, he became immersed in radical politics, philosophy, religion, and the esoteric sciences. After three trips to Europe, he decided to give up his possessions in the U.S. and to travel to Europe to study the art of comedy and the clown. He became a busker in London and formed traveling comedy groups there.
Beginning in 1975, he became known as one of the primary organizers and performers at the “International Festival of Fools”, an occasional city-wide festival of alternative comedy and clown acts in Amsterdam. Edwards gained a fan base in the Netherlands and for many years attracted enthusiastic audiences to his performances there. He also developed a fan base in Germany. From the 1980s, Edwards spent much of his time in France, where his style of performance was well received. For a time he gave regular performances at a small theatre in the Pigalle district of Paris. More recently, he has been based in Barcelona. According to his website, his most recent public performances were in Germany in 2009, but he continues to organize clown workshops in Barcelona as of 2013.
Between 1990 and 1998 he had several appearances on an Austrian comedy TV series called Tohuwabohu which was produced by Austrian television company ORF. There he had a running gag with drinking (or better failing to drink) beer.
In 2004, he released a DVD compilation of live performances: Jango Edwards: The Best of Jango. He also recorded four audio albums: (Live at the Melkweg (Milky Way records lp 1978), Clown Power (Ariola lp 1980), Live in Europe (Polydor lp 1980), Holey Moley (Silenz cd 1991) and two books: Jango Edwards (written English but with a cover in German) and I laugh you (Rostrum Haarlem, 1984). The Clown Power album was a limited edition of 3000 copies, each with a different album cover.
In 2009 Jango opened in Granollers (Barcelona), the “Nouveau Clown Institute” (NCI), the first training center specializing in the world of clowning. Artists from 31 different countries have attended the training sessions and lectures. N.C.I. has employed 86 coaches as trainers and mentors. Although the N.C.I. has received no government or private funding, it has survived independently through perseverance, dedication to the art, and faith in the global cause clown.