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.
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. Shu had enlisted in the Army with Stan Harper and they were assigned a special unit put together to entertain the troops.
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
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
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.
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.
^Some biographies provide 18 August 1918 as a date of birth; but the Florida death index states 18 March 1918
^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) OCLC897890ISBN0870002295ISBN9780870002298
^Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Ninth edition, edited by Laura Diane Kuhn (born 1953) Schirmer Books, New York (2001) OCLC633261588
^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)