March 18, 1918|
New York City
|Died||July 4, 1986
St. Petersburg, Florida
|Instruments||Tenor sax, alto sax, clarinet, trumpet, harmonica|
|Cappy Barra Harmonica Band, Gene Krupa, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton|
Eddie Shu (né Edward Shulman; 18 March 1918 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.
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.
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).
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
As sideman with Gene Krupa
Hall of Fame JG633
October 2, 1955
Concert, Civic Opera House, Chicago
Concert, Lucerna Halle
Concert, Palais des Sports, Paris
First concert, June 4, 1965
As sideman with Lionel Hampton
As sideman with other artists
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.
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.
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.