The Jazz Edge Inc. and The Jazz Edge Orchestra were officially formed in January 1991 under the musical direction of Robert Edwards. Others who have held the baton and led the Orchestra are Prince Wells, III; Anthony Wiggins and Thomas Moore.
Performance venues include Powell Symphony Hall, Touhill Performing Arts Center, St. Louis Arch, St. Louis Science Center, Harris Stowe State University, Sheldon Concert Hall, Washington University, Missouri Botanical Gardens, and St. Louis Americas Center.
Regional and national performances have included Alpha Phi Alpha Regional Convention, Missouri Conference-Women’s Missionary Society-AME Annual Meeting, Delta Sigma Theta National Meeting, National Set Club Meeting, the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations National Convention , Guardsmen National Meeting, NAACP, Urban League, Mound City Medical Auxiliary, St. Louis American Salute to Excellence in Education, Dr. Martin Luther King Opening Celebration, St. Louis American Salute to Excellence in Healthcare and St. Louis Minority Award Dinner.
The Jazz Edge Inc, produced the following program performances: Tribute to St. Louis Jazz Trumpeters, Tribute to St. Louis Women in Jazz, Tribute to St. Louis Saxophonist, Tribute to Miles Davis and Tribute to WC Handy.
Program narrators are an integral element in the Jazz Edge Orchestra performances. The narrators have been Ms. Christine Buck , Mr. Leo Cheers (the man in the red vest), Ms. Kimm Covington, Mr. Ross Gentile, Ms. Laverne Holliday and Ms. Dianne White.
The Jazz Edge Orchestra has flourished with vocalists Marsha Evans, Denise Thimes, Kimm Covington, Lillian Curlett, Anita Jackson, Ron Wilkinson and Larry Hamilton. Students have been included in the Orchestra since inception. Some noted past student performers are Richard White, Montez Coleman, Byron Lamar Harris, Andrew Zheng, Delano Redmond, Danny Campbell, and Kasimu Taylor.
Guest artists with the Jazz Edge Orchestra include Frank Foster, Clark Terry, Melton Mustafa, Lester Bowie, Wallace Roney, Geri Allen, Jimmy Wilkins, James Moody, Montez Coleman, Russell Gunn, Keyon Harold, Danny Mixon, John King, Jeff Anderson, Demarius Hicks, Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum, Ed Shaughnessy, Oliver Nelson, Jr., Frank Wess, Jackie Terrason, Chuck Berry, The Cunninghams, Hal Singer, Dawn Weber, Mae Wheeler, Jeanie Trevor, Denise Thimes, Mary Beth True, Willie Akins, Paul DeMarinis, The Bosman Twins, and Eric Person.
The Jazz Edge Orchestra continues to provide entertainment, music history and education in performances for the underserved and those who cannot afford market rate musical events. The Jazz Edge Orchestra performs in schools, churches, community centers, nursing homes, inmate facilities and veteran’s homes under the not-for profit 501 C 3 certification. The Jazz Edge Orchestra was awarded the Dr. Martin Luther King State Celebration Commissioner’s 2015 Community Service Award for productive and persistent service in the St. Louis metropolitan area. In 2014,The Jazz Edge Inc. also created, promoted and directed a instrument and equipment drive which resulted in presenting 30 new and pre-owned musical instruments and equipment to the Normandy Middle School instrumental music program.
The Jazz Edge Orchestra performs at awards and recognition programs, fraternity and sorority events, community and social organization events, church events, fund raisers, school programs, weddings, receptions, dinners, dances, family reunions, concerts and parties.
Sample of Our Music