Ed Spier, trombone player for Truth in Jazz Orchestra, has been a music enthusiast since his student days at Muskegon High School. His experiences in band and in playing led him to Muskegon Community College and eventually to Grand Valley State University. Though his degree was in broadcasting and communications, he played in bands and pursued development of his musical interests all through college. He took lessons, but acknowledges that most of his expertise has been gained by practice and performance.
In addition to TIJO, Ed plays for the West Side Soul Surfers and occasionally for the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra. In his musical career, he has performed with some music’s best known names including Frankie Valli, Bobby Vinton, and The Harry James Orchestra.
“The best thing about playing in the jazz band is the group dynamic. It’s hard to describe the feeling you get when everybody’s playing together and the music just flows,” Ed says.
“Jazz, in particular, gives musicians a chance to express themselves creatively in solos. Everyone gets to be a star for a minute. And with improvisation, every solo is different every time.”
Ed enjoys playing some of smaller venues such as the West Side Inn where TIJO plays regularly. “The more intimate settings give us a chance to interact more immediately with the audience”, he comments. “There’s something uniquely rewarding about that interaction.”
Though music is important to him, Ed also enjoys his position as Program Manager for WGVU-TV in downtown Grand Rapids.
And when he is not working at WGVU or playing with a band, you might find Ed on one of the many running paths in western Michigan. He runs between five and eight miles daily and participates in twenty to thirty races each year. He has taken part in marathons and long-distance races all over the U.S. Ed calculates that he has logged over 38,000 running miles since 1982.