The Short Version:
Music Director of RI statewide school dance program, "A Chance To Dance" class accompanist and orchestra member, 1986-2007; Music Director 2001-2007.
Music Director, pianist, organist, cantor, choir director, and choral/instrumental arranger since 1987 at several area churches, most recently St. Thomas More Church, Narragansett, RI.
Award winning and published writer, poet, songwriter and composer, with two CDs of original songs in print, plus songs and performance credits on numerous recordings by other artists. Modern classical selections performed by various ensembles including the RIC Orchestra under the direction of Edward Markward. Composer of several contemporary Mass settings.
Music Director, arranger and/or composer of more than 20 theatrical scores since 1977 for The RI Shakespeare Theater, Alias Stage, The All Children'sTheater, The RISD Performing Arts Society, The Cumberland Company, and Trinity Repertory Company. Credits include original scores for four Shakespeare plays, and two successful runs of a country-rock musical collaboration based on Bret Harte's The Outcasts of Poker Flat, with Steve Snyder and Bob Colonna.
1985 Runner-up in Music Composition fellowship competition, awarded by the RI State Council On The Arts.
Past teaching positions include Dean Jr. College, Moses Brown School, St Andrews School, and Moses Brown's "RISE" camp. Private instruction since 1979.
Member of several bands and ensembles since 1966, most recently The RI Civic Chorale and Orchestra, Blueswagon, Ragwagon, The Big Treehouse Band, Wayz & Means, Band of Brothers, The REST, and ((((The Repercussions)))).
Little Eddie started
tinkling at the piano as soon as he was able to stand up and reach
His dangerous talent was immediately apparent to all who heard him.
Jealousy quickly followed: he wasn't supposed to be that good this soon, his parents said.
What if he grows up to be an actual musician?
The twins, ten years older and feeling outshined by a 3 year old, abandoned their violin lessons in frustration.
It was all too much.
The family discussed it at length with piano technicians and salesmen in smoky back rooms.
They decided to take his lovely Chickering piano out into the yard and break it up into tiny pieces.
Only a cribbage board remains of the 2 inch thick carved oak frame of that instrument.
Still they couldn't discourage the boy.
Undaunted by it all, Eddie simply went on a hunger strike, refusing all food except apples, fried eggs and hot dogs.
A new piano was brought home.
He secretly wrote his
first full-fledged pop song, complete with Arabic lyrics, at the
tender age of four and a half.
When informed by his Nursery School teacher of the premier performance of the song, the family was shocked.
They denied all knowledge of his precocious musical abilities and multi-lingual poetic accomplishments.
This was to preserve the anonymity of the family,
and protect them from the onslaught of fan riots in their quiet East Providence neighborhood.
The song was entitled "Lubi, Lubi, Lubi" and sung entirely in Arabic, made up on the spot for his Nursery schoolmates.
It translates roughly as "Stringbean, Stringbean, Stringbean."
The family will deny to this day that little Eddie ever spoke or understood a word of Arabic,
aside from cuss words picked up around the house.
It can now be revealed that the bulk of the lyrics to "Lubi, Lubi, Lubi" actually consisted mostly of those cuss words.
Alas, all but the opening phrase of the song has been lost to posterity.
Still, a period of learning
from the masters was the necessary next step.
Eddie divided his musical attention between his classical lessons and the pop tunes coming over the airwaves.
Once Beethoven, Bach, Gershwin, Elvis, and the Everly Brothers were conquered, along came the Beachboys,
Phil Spector, Motown, and later the British invasion,
especially The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Zombies, and The Beatles,
all of which caused young Eddie's creativity to bloom,
much to the chagrin of piano teacher Rudolph Streeter,
who was having a harder and harder time holding the boy to his Mozart and scale studies.
Eddie put together his
first band with schoolmates Eddie Sheridan (bongos) and Eddie Damarjian
They were called "The Three Eddies," for reasons that will forever remain a trade secret.
Their first and only paying gig was at a weekend dance
in the basement of Newman Congregational Church, Rumford, RI.
Later, two of these same Eddies (Rashed and Damarjian) performed a dueling piano arrangement of Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue"
at their Junior High School graduation ceremonies.
Later in the '60s,
more bands followed.
A six piece ensemble with brass but no bass called "Mañana Sound" was next.
This band took a sixteen year old Eddie and his friends on the road (well, the ferry)
to Block Island for a six week engagement at The High View.
The boys would listen to "Sgt. Pepper" by The Beatles, "Are You Experienced" by Jimi Hendrix,
"Cheap Thrills" by Janis Joplin, and "Time" by the Chambers Brothers, over and over.
Then they would stumble downstairs to perform their "Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass" arrangements,
mostly borrowed from their high school band.
Some of the Mañana Sound never recovered from that summer.
According to reports, though, Herb Alpert recovered.
Meanwhile, in 1977,
Ed began working on some shows
as pianist, composer, and music director with the Rhode Island Shakespeare Theater.
This relationship lasted, on and off, into the '90s with several scores, mostly of original music and songs.
There were also two productions, in 1978 and 1988, of the original country/rock Musical The Outcasts Of Poker Flat,
in collaboration with Steve Snyder and Bob Colonna.
Ed also found time to work occasionally with several other area theater companies,
including Alias Stage, The All Children's Theater, and Trinity Repertory Company.
In the '80s,
more club dates and recording opportunities came along.
Ed plays synthesizer on Steve Snyder and Kate Katzburg's album "Atomic Love."
There was also a band called "Tanoose," later called "Contact," with a number of the musicians
that were to appear this year on Ed's new CDs.
"Tanoose" played a couple of Ed's originals, including "Blue Lightning" which can be heard on the CD "Big Book Of Love."
Another band called "The Shamblers," with Martin Grosswendt and the rhythm section from "Tanoose,"
was rumored to be enjoying free beers on Monday nights at the original Met Cafe.
of bands, back room cribbage games, and too much fun followed.
Free beer and other culinary delights were enjoyed in great clubs like Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, The Last Call Saloon,
The Narragansett Cafe, The Bon Vue, Center Stage, Toad's Place, the infamous Met Cafe,
Captain Nick's, The Yellow Kitten, The Paradise,
and the unbelievably far flung Dave's Golden Pheasant.
This period included a stint in Grammy nominee Bill Harley's lean and mean touring band,
and some keyboard work on Bill's "Big Big World" album on A&M Records.
(Ahem, yes that's Herb Alpert's record company, by the way.)
From those years until recently, many friends have enjoyed Ed's singing and playing with "The Wanderers,"
"Pegasus," "Billy And The Kids," "High Times," "Blueswagon," "Wayz and Means," and other bands.
These days Ed
directs music at St Thomas More Church in Narragansett, RI, and has retired as Music Director and
class musician for the statewide RI school dance program A Chance To Dance after a hectic (and fun) 20 year run.
Current projects - Support Your Local Live Musicians! You can catch Ed performing with RI based rock bands "Band of Brothers"
and ((((The Repercussions)))) around the RI area. Find the links to the band pages with band schedules on the home page.
In between gigs
in clubs, schools, churches, and anywhere else people will listen politely
and not run away,
Ed tries to stay tuned to the voice of his muse.
There has indeed been a frenzy of songwriting during the last few years.
It has produced most of the material for Ed's jam-packed double "Songwriter's Showcase" CD project.
At least now all those songs have been cleared out of those notebooks, shoeboxes and closet shelves.
Finally, all that paper can be recycled.
And that old cribbage board made from a Chickering oak piano
has been uncovered in the process, with the deck of cards still inside.
And Ed Rashed has taken his place among the legions of other indie singer/songwriters
who have actually gotten to the point of unleashing their crazy rants and raves upon the world.
In a recent interview
Ed stated that he wants to be a beer taster and professional cribbage player
when he grows up,
for reasons that will forever remain a trade secret.
Background Image from "Occupasstuxet Cove Fog" © 2001, Ed Rashed