The late Edwin
Hubbard was a nimble musical prodigy whose chosen instrument
of expression was the flute.
the terms flutist or flautist, preferring to call himself a
"flute picker." He was a flamboyant but beloved Memphis jazz
standout whose facility with the sax as well as the flute
tagged him as “about the most in-demand musician in his
field’. He is heard on iconic recordings by Elvis Presley
and Isaac Hayes, among others.
As a musician,
Hubbard was an adventurer, said to be the first to bring
about a fusion of bluegrass and jazz, and later, what he
called the "Afro-Billy sound," a fusion of African, jazz,
Early in his
career, an Indian gave him a clutch of beautiful eagle
feathers, saying, “They will give your music strength.”
Hubbard dangled them from the end of his flute with a long
string and was never again seen without them.
On March 22, 1997,
the 61-year-old Hubbard auditioned for the role of conductor
of the Germantown (TN) Symphony Orchestra. After conducting
Mozart's Requiem (a.k.a. The Funeral Mass), he went to his
dressing room, where the concertmaster found him dead from
an apparent heart attack.
some of Memphis' finest - Tom Lonardo on drums, Errol Thomas
on bass, and Marvell Thomas on keyboards – Edwin Hubbard’s
legacy lives on in this album entitled “Skyway Sunday”.