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Ed Epstein


Ed hails from El Paso, Texas, but being an ”army brat” he moved up and down the West Coast every few years at the whim of his father’s employer, the U.S. Army. He eventually wound up in Eugene, Oregon, where he studied theory and composition at the University of Oregon, while learning to play on the local jazz scene, which was, and still is, rich in talent.

After periods in Eugene, Berkeley and San Francisco, California, and Seattle, Washington, Ed made the move to Europe, settling in Stockholm. He played and recorded with a number of Swedish and American musicians, and it was there that he met South African bassist Mbizo Johnny Dyani. This meeting led to several recordings on Steeplechase and other labels, as well as extensive touring throughout Europe.

By the time Dyani passed away, Ed had moved to the south of Sweden, expanding his field to include the dynamic scene in Copenhagen. He played, recorded and toured with a number of West African musicians in Denmark, part of a dynamic and growing world music scene there. He also formed a long-lasting partnership with the late Danish jazz icon Erling Kroner, appearing on a series of recordings in both big band and small-group settings.

At present Ed is involved in a number of projects, including Epstein Alliance, a quintet with his son Peter, a major saxophone voice in his own right. An album by this group is in the final stages of production. A quartet with guitarist Bjarne Roupe, R/E/D/S, recently released its debut album, Sign of Four, on Origin Records. His other groups include two quintets, one with Swedish trumpeter Anders Bergcrantz and the other with Trinidadian steel pan master Rudy Smith, as well as a work-in-progress with vocalist/composer Carita Boronska. Ed plays alto with drummer P-A Tollbom’s eclectic International Groove, another group that is in the process of recording a forthcoming album. He is also a regular fixture in Roger Berg’s R3B, and can be seen and heard in a range of other settings.


On the Scene with Ed Epstein