Ed Stoute



Ed Stoute


Ed Stoute’s talks about his experience as a pianist and a bandleader in Brooklyn, New York. Stoute grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant and attended the East New York Vocational High School until his last year when he decided to quit to pursue music instead. He returned to finish his high school education when he was 30. He graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School.

Stoute recounts his music education from early childhood, when his older sister took piano lessons and his older brother took violin lessons at home. Stoute was self-taught and although he could not read music, he was playing the piano by ear and started to play gigs at 18 years old. His recalls that his interest in jazz began when he heard Stan Keaton, Bird, and especially Bud Powell records played in his home. Stoute would go to jam sessions in the home of his friends. Kenny Dorham lived nearby Hancock St. and other professional musicians were living in the area.
Stoute names and describes many of the clubs and jazz sites in Brooklyn at the time, such as Continental, Tip Top, Berry Brothers, Moulin Rouge, Baby Grand. He also talks about the various jazz musicians who played there, such as Miles Davis, Walter Bishop, Red Garland among many others. Stoute started going to these clubs as soon as his age permitted, at 18. He describes the typical evening program at Moulin Rouge and his experience playing there. Stoute had one of his earliest gigs at the Baby Grand in the 1960s. He talks at length about who played at the various jazz sites and the atmosphere there. Stoute also talks about drug use among musicians.

Stoute was drafted into the army and he came back at the age of 25. He talks about his day jobs, such as loading mail trucks. Stoute admits that after he left the army is when he started to develop as a musician. He attended the Harnett Music Studio where he learned how to compose music, which he had already been doing by ear. At the same time, he was playing gigs at the Baby Grand.

After his career at Baby Grand, he played at various sites in Boston, Toronto, Houston, Chicago, and Cleveland. Later on, he worked at the Blue Coronet in Brooklyn. Stoute discusses the transition of jazz in Brooklyn from the 1960s and 1970s onward. He remembers the decline of jazz clubs in the neighborhood after the 1970s, and attributes the difference to financial struggles of the time period.

At present, Stoute works with the Harlem Renaissance Jazz Orchestra; once a year, he plays at the Jazz 966 concerts.


Willard Jenkins


[1960s, 1970s, 2010]


Ed Stoute


June 15, 2010






Weeksville Heritage Center


Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
Bishop, Walter, 1927-1998
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Brooklyn Technical High School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
Davis, Miles
East New York (New York, N.Y.)
Jazz musicians
Powell, Bud
African American jazz musicians
Dorham, Kenny, 1924-1972


Willard Jenkins


Ed Stoute


Interviewee's Home
Brooklyn, N.Y.


54 minutes, 23 seconds

Item sets