This page gives us an opportunity to introduce one of our members “up close and personal”. Our featured player this month is Ed Neiderhiser, trumpet.
Ed was raised in Erie PA. He has been playing trumpet for 50 years. At age 5 he attended a high school band concert with a trumpet soloist. This event stuck with him and he started playing trumpet in 7th grade. He was involved with concert and marching band in the music program at McDowell High School in Erie and also in the Erie Junior Philharmonic Orchestra. “I was introduced to jazz by my music teacher who played Maynard Ferguson records for me. I quickly found my way to Miles, Duke , Monk, and Trane.”
(Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie had a profound Influence on young players, and the music education in the schools. These bands played high school concerts and clinics in order to reach young players. Ed is an example of countless musicians who were influenced in this manner.)
Ed attended Thiel College in Western PA . He graduated in 1969, majoring in history and minoring in Greek. During his stay he played in the college wind ensemble. He formed the “Ed Neiderhiser Quartet” “I was self-taught on piano – chord symbols and lots of fake. We actually got paid a few times but it was hardly a monument in jazz history.”
Ed graduated from Seminary in Gettysburg in 1973. He then moved to Philadelphia for graduate school. In 1978 he achieved a Ph.D. in Hebrew Scriptures and cognate languages at Dropsie University.
He was ordained in Lutheran ministry in 1977 and served congregations in Havertown, Philadelphia and North Wales. He has been director of Chaplaincy and all religious programs at Graterford Prison since 1989. Ed had several articles published in professional journals and a short story published in British Jazz Anthology.
Ed formed a jazz sextet called the Trinity Jazz Ensemble which performed from 1975 – 1985. The ensemble performed in Philadelphia jazz clubs and on WRTI and on TV. He has performed in several jazz combos and brass groups over the years. He made some music with Khan Jamal, Odean Pope, Tony Williams, Dr. John D’Amico, Eddie Green and sat in a few times with Shirley Scott, Trudy Pitts, Joey De Francesco, Turrell Stafford, et. al. Ed has performed with the MCCB since 1995 as well as several other community groups.
Ed has two original jazz CDs with his trio JAZPLASHand recently recorded with Standard Times Jazz Sextet and percussionist Omar Hill – “Tribes of the Future”. Jazplash played a live concert last year on WRTI.
Ed is married to native artist and poet Sally nee Kavash, who can be heard on the Jazplash CDs. Ed has a daughter who is a family psychologist, a son who is a French horn player, attorney and former Deputy DA, currently practicing in York, PA, and another son who was a former Penn State football player and is currently a sports promoter in Las Vegas.
Ed has made a significant contribution to not only the world of music but to many other areas. We are certainly glad to have him contribute to the MCCB.