Ed Wolfe was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1946 and attended the Albuquerque Public Schools (graduated Highland HS, 1964) and the University of New Mexico (B.M.E.1968 and M.M. 1973). His musical background began on piano (age 5) and continued as a trumpet student (age 9). He was featured as a church soloist throughout Junior High and High School on trumpet and also sang in the church choir.
At UNM, he began to learn other musical instruments (Horn, Trombone, Bass, Euphonium, Synthesizer) while working on his music education degree. Performance opportunities in APS included Band, Orchestra, Dance Band, Brass Ensemble and Piano. At UNM he performed with Band, Orchestra, University Chorus, Brass Quintet, Brass Choir, Jazz Ensemble and his own jazz groups and other jazz ensembles (Ed Wolfe trio, Kingsman, Moonlighters, Al Baca Quartet, Bill Paynter Jazz Quartet). After graduation in 1968, Ed began his music education career in Albuquerque while also continuing to perform on trumpet and bass. During this time in addition to his duties with APS, he founded and directed the Albuquerque Brass Quintet and the Albuquerque Heights Rehearsal Jazz Band. He also did occasional performances with the Albuquerque Symphony Orchestra. It was during this eight year period that he was elected NAJE historian for the state of New Mexico as well as NMMEA District 7 (Albuquerque) vice- president for music festivals.
He also served on the ACLOA (Light Opera) board and was musical director on several shows, playing in the pit on others. Ed founded the Hummingbird Music Camp Jazz Week in 1975 with guest soloists and clinicians from APS as well as Bobby Shew and Robert Miller (ASU) as head clinicians. In 1977, Ed moved to California and began his 32 year tenure with the Bonita Unified School District teaching at 9 of the 13 public schools in the district. He became clinician for Jazz Ensembles and Concert Bands throughout Southern California and his ensembles traveled all over the US attending festivals and concert tours. Literally hundreds of performances during those 30 plus years earned high awards at SCSBOA festivals, Command Performances, Heritage Festivals and Festival of the States in San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle, Colorado Springs, Tempe, Washington DC and Boston. Ed’s Jazz Ensembles have had a wide variety of fine guest soloists over his 40 year teaching career including Clark Terry, Bobby Shew, Bob Miller, Arlen Asher, Bob Brown, Bob Farley, Fenton Katz, Ray Pizzi, Jim Linahon, Matt Catingub, Roger Burn and Shapes, Matt Politano, Tony Lujan, Dino Soldo, Milton Nelson, Todd Kreutzer and 2AZZ1 (Craig and Mary Durst). Ed most recently founded and directs the San Dimas Brass Ensembles (in which he plays trumpet, horn and euphonium books) and the San Dimas Jazz Workshop Reading Band (playing keyboard) featuring local and regional professional players as well as many former jazz students who now play professionally. Some of Ed’s professional former students include Tony Lujan, Milton Nelson, Roger Burn (deceased), Dino Soldo, Matt Politano, Mark Tschinkel, Peter Adam, and many more. There are also a large number of former students who have become educators in a variety of fields. Among the many awards and citations Ed has received in the last forty five years are:
- “Most Outstanding Teacher” – 1973-1974, 2005-2006,
- “MENC Nationally Registered Music Educator” – 1991,
- “MENC Nationally Certified Music Educator” – 1991,
- “Who’s Who in the West” – 1989-1990, 1992-1993,
- “Who’s Who in Entertainment” – 1992-1993,
- “Who’s Who in American Education” – 1992-1993, 1994-1995, 1996-1997,
- “Who’s Who in America” – 1997,
- “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” – 1996, 1998, 2000,
- “BRAVO Award” semi-finalist – 1994-1995,
- SCSBOA “Certificate of Appreciation” for presentation of “Developing and Sustaining Elementary and Middle School Jazz Programs” – 9/9/1995,
- San Dimas Juvenile Justice Commission “Youth Service Award” – 1984, 1993, 2001,
- BUSD “Teacher Hall of Fame” – 2006,
- BTSA “Award of Merit” – 2006,
- Heritage Festival Director’s Club – 2007,
- San Dimas Community Hero – 2007,
- SCSBOA “Veteran Teacher Award” – 2008, and
- San Dimas “Volunteer of the Year” – 2010.
- California Alliance For Jazz – “Hall of Fame” – 2014
Ed is now retired from public music education, but is still a clinician, arranger, composer, director and performer of jazz and classical literature. He is also the Chairman of the San Dimas Senior Citizen Commission and volunteers his musical ensembles to perform for senior and city functions.
What Others Are Saying
“…selected by students of merit as a teacher who ‘made a difference’ in the life of that student and is therefore acknowledged for excellence as a distinguished educator…” Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers
“…inclusion…is limited to those individuals who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in their own fields of endeavor and who have, thereby, contributed significantly to the betterment of contemporary society.” Who’s Who in American Education
“…presented for your many years of service and enrichment to our community’s quality of life.” City of San Dimas
“I’m enjoying listening to some of the clips you’ve posted. I really like the ‘edge’ of your musical language!…your music is compelling and I know that as you continue to network with musicians, that will lead to more live performances…[I read your letter] and I want to tell you what a class act you are. I hope that further opportunities to have your music performed will stem from it.” Alex Shapiro