Remembering Eddie Caine


Volume 117, No. 4April, 2017

Eddie Caine (1924-2016)

It is with great sadness that we share the passing of Eddie Caine last Aug. 19, 2016 at the age of 92. He had been a member of Local 802 for almost 70 years. Eddie was an alto saxophone soloist extraordinaire who also played flute and piccolo, and was a legend in his own time. He was first heard on the recording of “Harlem Nocturne” by the Randy Brooks Orchestra, but his professional career began before he graduated high school, when bandleader/composer Henry Nemo hired him and told him he had to join Local 802 before he could play in Nemo’s band at the famed Grossinger’s hotel in the Catskills.

Eddie Caine made his mark on the music world. He played with the big bands of Chico Marx, Jimmy Dorsey, Tony Pastor and Buddy Rich; he doubled on flute and piccolo in Broadway shows; he performed with woodwind quintets; he recorded for greats like Gil Evans, Ralph Burns and Johnny Mandel; he co-produced an album of flutist Harold Bennett’s teachings; and he performed and recorded George Handy’s “The Caine Flute Sonata.”

Eddie’s career spanned 75 years, from New York to Miami to Los Angeles. In addition to being a member of the original New York Saxophone Quartet, Eddie played classical flute with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Met Opera and the NYC Opera. He was also known for his flute and piccolo work with Miles Davis on the albums “Miles Ahead” and “Sketches of Spain.”

For all of you who knew Eddie, you know he was a musician’s musician, a humble shining star. And he was our star! (In fact, as a birthday present, an actual star in the universe was named after him in the star registry under his nickname Dukie Rogers, and we have a map of its location!)

Godspeed, Eddie. May your spirit soar.

– Dee Dee Caine and Fern Ellis