Born May 8,1928, EDGAR “ED” REDMOND, was a native of Washington, D.C., and started playing the clarinet and saxophone at age 13. He studied composition and arranging at Berklee School of Music, Boston and he was awarded a teaching certification of the Schillinger System of Musical Composition from New York University. From 1948 to 1959 he served in the armed forces as composer and arranger for army bands. Best known in Los Angeles as a composer, clarinetist, arranger, and orchestrator, Redmond drew from different music genres, including Classical, Baroque, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Gospel, Rock, Latin and the Blues.
He performed his services for numerous recording companies, celebrity artists and groups including Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, The Fifth Dimension, The Ventures, Bill Cosby, Billy Preston, Sam Cooke, Lou Rawls, Ike and Tina Turner, Johnnie Brown (Laugh-In), Sandy Nelson, Mike Melvoin, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, Roberta Flack, Johnnie Taylor, Donna Summers, Edwin Hawkins with the Oakland Symphony, and Della Reese with the New Orleans Philharmonic. He even made a number of 30-second commercials for advertising companies. Currently, there are 26 ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) song titles in the Edgar Redmond Archives (E.R.A) catalog.
Edgar was founder and music director of the jazz group Modern String Ensemble, the author of “Jazz, Strings and The World of Music”, and originator of the proposed program for Community Television Channel 28 KCET “How to Play Modern American Music (Jazz) On Strings”. At the conclusion of many years of research and experimenting, The Modern String Ensemble arrived at the epitome of modern American music by the practical use of strings playing jazz…and successfully married the beauty of sound of the symphony orchestra with the exhilarating rhythmic feel of jazz.
Steven Riggio, then President of Essar Records stated The Modern String Ensemble is “the greatest benefit to music education, which shows the possibilities of creative string performances through the idiom of Jazz and Modern Popular music.” As a former member of the Music Educators National Conference and the National Association of Jazz Educators, Redmond was a strong advocate of music education. In 1970 he conducted clinic sessions at the 12th Annual National School Orchestra Association summer conference held at Elon College, North Carolina, at which four of his own compositions were performed.
Redmond once stated one of his greatest accomplishments was in April 1973 when the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra performed his “Transition in Black” suite dramatizing the climactic phases of the existence of the Afro-American. According to the Hollywood Reporter in 1973, “Transition in Black” was a pleasant Gershwinesque piece of representational music.
Edgar received his first Film and TV credit in 1961 with the arrangement of the Theme Song for the MGM Movie Horizontal Lieutenant performed by the group The Diamonds. Other major credits include the 1993 American crime drama film, A Bronx Tale; C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation; The Simpsons; Casino; G.I. JOE: Retalliation and HOUSE, MD.
Although he passed away on August 30, 1984, Edgar’s main goal of pursuing the film industry as a film composer is currently being brought to life by his son Michael Redmond.