Eddie Shu

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Eddie Shu
Birth nameEdward Shulman
Born(1918-03-18)March 18, 1918
New York City
DiedJuly 4, 1986(1986-07-04) (aged 68)
St. Petersburg, Florida
Occupation(s)Jazz musician
InstrumentsTenor sax, alto sax, clarinet, trumpet, harmonica
Years active1940s–death
Associated actsCappy Barra Harmonica Band, Gene Krupa, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton

Eddie Shu (né Edward Shulman; 18 March 1918[1] New York City — 4 July 1986 St. Petersburg, Florida, though he lived in Tampa) was an American swing and jazz multi-instrumentalist with high proficiency on tenor and alto saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, harmonica, and accordion. He also was a popular comedic ventriloquist. He is more known for his tenor playing, but he maintained, performed and recorded using his other talents throughout his jazz career.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8]


Shu learned violin and guitar as a child before picking up saxophone as a teenager. His professional career began in 1935 in Brooklyn. For the seven years leading up to his service in the United States Army, Shu performed in vaudeville and night clubs as a ventriloquist and a harmonica player with the Cappy Barra Harmonica Band.[9]

United States Armed Forces during World War II
Shu played in bands while serving in the Army from 1942 to 1945. Notably, he performed with Maurice Evans in the Pacific.[10] Shu had enlisted in the Army with Stan Harper and they were assigned a special unit put together to entertain the troops.[11]

Post-World War II, 1940s & 1950s
Following Shu's discharge from the Army, he performed with Tadd Dameron (1947), George Shearing, Johnny Bothwell, Buddy Rich, Les Elgart, Lionel Hampton (1949–1950), Charlie Barnet, Chubby Jackson, and Gene Krupa (1954–1958). Shu performed with Lionel Hampton's Orchestra at the famed Cavalcade of Jazz concert held at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles which was produced by Leon Hefflin, Sr. on July 10, 1949 and also at Lane Field in San Diego on Sept. 3, 1949.[12]

1960s, 1970s, 1980s
In the 1960s Shu moved to Florida, playing locally as well as with Louis Armstrong's All-Stars, Hampton, and Gene Krupa again. Shu was a member of the vocal jazz group Rare Silk in 1980. During this period, he performed with this group in and around Boulder, Colorado; and also performed a 6-week Department of Defense tour. Eddie Shu's final recording date on the Island Jazz Label "Shu-Swings" With The Joe Delaney Trio was recently re-issued in 2013, Shu was in top form on the date and plays tenor, alto saxophone's, clarinet, trumpet and also revisit's his 1954 78 single "Ruby" on chromatic harmonica. The Joe Delaney Trio which featured a then 20-year-old Delaney was their debut recording and went on to receive wide critical acclaim having been discovered in the Virgin Islands by Shu. Leonard Feather, L.A. Times & Down Beat Magazine

Death in 1986
Eddie Shu died in 1986 in St Petersburg, Florida, while living in Tampa.[13][14] Shu is buried at Bay Pines National Cemetery, near St. Petersburg.

Selected discography and recording sessions[edit]

As leader

  1. Eddie Shu Quintet

    New Stars-New Sounds, Volume 1 OCLC 57655333
    Mercer Records

    New York, April, 1949
  2. Eddie Shu & His Australian Jazz Group
    Sydney, Australia, August, 1954
  3. Eddie Shu Quartet
    I Only Have Eyes For Shu OCLC 762915656, 764633789
  4. Eddie Shu "Shu-Swings With The Joe Delaney Trio" Featuring Joe Delaney Piano, Alan Reed Bass, Philly Joe Jones or Connie Kay Drums Island Jazz Template:VIJ032540162

As sideman

  1. Jackie Paris with Leonard Feather
    New York, November 12, 1949
  2. Bobby Byrne and His NBC Dixieland Band versus Kai Winding and His Birdlanders
    Hot Versus Cool OCLC 10009389
    New York, June, 1953
  3. Mel Powell and His All Stars
    Jam Session at Carnegie Hall OCLC 276907338
    Concert, Carnegie Hall, New York, April 9, 1954
    (benefit concert for Lighthouse, the New York Association for the Blind)

As sideman with Gene Krupa

  1. Gene Krupa Trio †

    Sing, Sing, Sing OCLC 16993420

    New York, February 1, 1954
  2. Gene Krupa Quartet
    New York, December 14, 1954
  3. Gene Krupa Quartet OCLC 12628829
    Los Angeles, February 7, 1955
  4. Gene Krupa Quartet
    New York, March 10, 1955
  5. Gene Krupa Quartet
    New York, September, 1955
  6. Gene Krupa
    Hall of Fame JG633
    October 2, 1955
    (Jazz at the Philharmonic)
  7. Gene Krupa Quartet
    Concert, Civic Opera House, Chicago
    October 2, 1955
  8. Gene Krupa and His Orchestra
    Drummer Man OCLC 221496655
    New York, February 12, 1956
  9. The Wailers with The Gene Krupa Big Band
    Los Angeles, April 20, 1956
  10. Gene Krupa Quartet
    Jazz at the Philharmonic OCLC 752076265
    Concert at the Civic Auditorium
    Seattle, October 11, 1956
  11. Gene Krupa Quartet †
    Live From The Inn Club Chicago OCLC 47259464
    Chicago, January 11, 1957
  12. Gene Krupa Quartet
    Hey! Here's Gene Krupa OCLC 8998452
    New York, June 6, 1957, and
    July 2, 1957
  13. Ace Drummer Man: Gene Krupa, Volume Two OCLC 22204933
    CBS Telecast, "Dial M For Music", 1967
  14. Gene Krupa Quartet with Anita O'Day
    Live, Tropicana, Las Vegas, 1968
  15. Gene Krupa Live at the New School
    April 17, 1973 CRD 207
Harmonica Shu Boogie, featuring Shu was recorded during these sessions

As sideman with Louis Armstrong
(Shu replaced Joe Darensbourg)

  1. NBC-TV "Bell Telephone Hour
    New York, February 2, 1965
  2. Louis Armstrong and His All Stars OCLC 79388919, 21402243
    Concert, Lucerna Halle
    Prague, March 12–18, 1965
  3. Louis Armstrong And His All Stars
    Concert, Friedrichstadt-Palast OCLC 21402243
    East Berlin, March 22, 1965
    (March 22 concert was broadcast on TV & radio)
  4. Louis Armstrong and His All Stars
    Concert, Palais des Sports, Paris
    First concert, June 4, 1965
    Second concert, June 4, 1965

As sideman with Lionel Hampton

  1. New York, 1966

As sideman with other artists

  1. We Are The Levitts OCLC 725392133
    New York, fall 1968
  2. Joe Bonner
    Impressions of Copenhagen OCLC 30381596
    Copenhagen, 1978–1979
  3. Eddie Shu Live! 1981
    John Shaffer Group
    Shu: tenor sax, trumpet & chromatic harmonica
    Sample: On Green Dolphin Street on YouTube December 17, 1981
    Mugsie's, Saint John, U.S. Virgin Islands


Eddie married Carol Lee Randolph on October 11, 1985, in Tampa, Florida. His son, Evan Shulman (né Ivan Shulman; born 1952 to a previous marriage to Alice Gonzalez from Los Angeles CA, is an active professional guitar player who resides in Hawaii.

Posthumous movie dispute[edit]

Carol Shulman, Eddie's widow, filed suit against Andy García, et. al in Los Angeles Superior Court claiming that he stole the identity of her late husband for the film, The Lost City. The film centers on a Cuban nightclub owner fleeing the country's oppressive regime for New York. Carol claimed that Eddie Shu was exiled from Cuba in 1958 — after Fidel Castro came into power — for exercising freedom of expression.[15]

Music in the Cuba during the 1950s, was not booming, but as the Havana City mafia tried to emulate Las Vegas — show business grew with the construction of hotels and small night clubs where jazz was predominate. Renowned international jazz stars performed in Havana City: Cab Calloway, Woody Herman, Tommy Dorsey, Nat King Cole, Sarah Vaughan, Dean Martin, Benny Goodman, and Frank Sinatra.

Success of Armando de Sequeira Romeu's house band at the Tropicana Club helped the club build the reputation as the Cuban Jazz Center. In 1957 a group of musicians, disc jockeys and Jazz fans joined in Havana City to exchange experiences with North American musicians. The main venues were Havana 1900 and the Tropicana. Funds collected were used by the Jazz Cuban Club to bring jazz musicians to the island, musicians that included Kenny Drew, Eddie Shu, and Philly Joe Jones.[16]


General references[edit]

Inline citations[edit]

  1. ^ Some biographies provide 18 August 1918 as a date of birth; but the Florida death index states 18 March 1918
  2. ^ The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900–1950, three volumes, by Roger D. Kinkle (1916–2000), Arlington House Publishers, New Rochelle, New York (1974) OCLC 897890 ISBN 0870002295 ISBN 9780870002298
  3. ^ Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Ninth edition, edited by Laura Diane Kuhn (born 1953) Schirmer Books, New York (2001) OCLC 633261588
  4. ^ Biography Index. A cumulative index to biographical material in books and magazines. Volume 15, September 1986 — August 1988, H.W. Wilson Company, New York (1988)
  5. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, First edition, Two volumes, edited by Barry Dean Kernfeld (born 1950), Macmillan Press, London (1988) OCLC 16804283 ISBN 0333398467 ISBN 9780333398463 ISBN 093585939X ISBN 9780935859393
  6. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, edited by Barry Dean Kernfeld (born 1950), St. Martin's Press, New York (1994) OCLC 30516743 ISBN 0312113579 ISBN 9780312113575
  7. ^ The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, Second edition, three volumes, edited by Barry Kernfeld Archived 2012-03-30 at the Wayback Machine, Macmillan Publishers, London (2002)
  8. ^ Who's Who in Hollywood, The largest cast of international film personalities ever assembled, two volumes, by David Ragan, Facts on File, New York (1992)
  9. ^ Obituary: Eddie Shu, The New York Times, July 12, 1986
  10. ^ Classifieds: Ventriloquist, Billboard Magazine, December 15, 1945, pg. 42, column 4
  11. ^ Stan Harper: Program of Events: Texas Harmonica Showdown 2012, Society for the Preservation and Advancement of the Harmonica , pg. 9
  12. ^ “Lionel Hampton at Wrigley Field on Sunday July 10th” Article Los Angeles Sentinel July 23, 1949.
  13. ^ John Chilton, Who's Who of Jazz: Storyville to Swing Street, Macmillan Publishers (1970) OCLC 278739, revised & enlarged 4/1985 OCLC 810675033
  14. ^ Leonard Feather, The Encyclopedia of Jazz (1955) OCLC 521647793, revised & enlarged 2nd edition 1960) OCLC 1351055, revised 1984 OCLC 10299332
  15. ^ Andy García Facing Lawsuit Over His 2005 Film The Lost City, AceShowbiz.com (Anita Yang, Saint Paul, co-founder; Denny Lee, Irvine, co-founder), September 17, 2007
  16. ^ Cuban Internet Resources, Citmatel