Eddie first came to
the attention of the jazz audience as a tenor saxophonist with the
Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. When Thad and Mel first organized
their band in 1966 to play Monday nights at the Village Vanguard in
New York (where it still plays), Eddie was one of the first musicians
they called. Later that year, he sank $400 in a round-trip flight
to Vienna to enter the International Competition for Modern Jazz,
a contest organized by the pianist Fredrich Gulda and sponsored by
the city of Vienna, and won first prize on saxophone. He continued
working with Thad and Mel over the next several years and toured Europe
extensively with them.
A single clarinet solo
recorded with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis orchestra, "Live at the
Village Vanguard" garnered sufficient attention for him to win
Downbeat Magazine's International Critics New Star on Clarinet Award.
This conversion to clarinet was not new, for Eddie began clarinet
at age 13 and received his Masters in Clarinet from Juilliard. Winning
numerous Grammy awards and nominations, Eddie Daniels revolutionized
the blend of jazz and classical.
Eddie Daniels is clearly
a renaissance musician, a virtuoso in both jazz and classical music,
recipient of unreserved accolades from his peers, from critics, and
from the public. Eddie's overriding ambition is to reach as many people
as possible with his music, to enlarge the audience for both jazz
and classical music and at the same time to tear down the walls separating
them. In Eddie's hands, the music of Mozart can be as engaging as
that of Charlie Parker and a concert featuring both can be a uniquely
rewarding experience for the audience.