Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - Musician, arranger and producer Edison Anthony “Eddie” Quarless was born April 9, 1952, in Palo Seco, Trinidad. He passed away from complications from non-Hodgkins lymphoma on J’Ouvert Morning, September 1, 2014, in Brooklyn, New York.
He grew up in Tacarigua, where his mother Beryl “Ma” Quarless worked for many years at St. Michael’s Home. It was there where his talents for music became apparent, as he quickly learned to play saxophone, keyboards, flute and steel pan, among other instruments.
The youngest-ever member of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Band, Eddie also played saxophone for many years in the orchestra in Lord Kitchener’s Kalypso Revue, and as a member of Esquires along with Clive Bradley and Pelham Goddard. He toured internationally with calypso and soca’s most pre-eminent musicians and performers.
As arranger and producer, he was at the forefront of the development of soca music, collaborating on literally hundreds of albums with Rawlston Charles at Charlie’s Calypso City in Brooklyn, working with calypsonians Sparrow, Kitchener, Shadow, Arrow, Merchant, Black Stalin, Mudada, Mighty Duke, Lord Shorty, Crazy, Swallow, SuperBlue, musician Frankie McIntosh and many many others.
In the mid-80s he began arranging for steel orchestras in both Trinidad and New York. Among his most notable works are “Earthquake,” “Heavy Roller” and “Dus in Your Face,” for Trinidad All Stars. Desperadoes selected him to arrange their “Tribute to Clive Bradley” after Bradley's death in 2005.
In 1999, he co-founded JahPan Caribbean Steel Band, arranging and producing two CDs, performing at countless music festivals and school-based music workshops, and other engagements throughout the US.
In addition to his work with traditional and modern forms of Caribbean music, he is known for his ability to work in both classics and jazz idioms, creating arrangements that remain in the repertoires of steel bands throughout the world.
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