Remembering Jazz Icon, EULIS CATHEY (1953-2021)

Eulis Cathey’s career began as a jazz announcer on his college campus radio station. After graduation, he joined WDTN-TV in Dayton, OH as Writer/Producer of On-Air Promotion, writing, producing, and scheduling all of the station’s on air promotion efforts. But the pull of, and immersion in, jazz was too strong, and he shifted his professional focus. In 1980, he moved to WEBR Radio in Buffalo, NY as the overnight host of “Jazz In The Nighttime.”

In 1987, he began his career in the record industry joining the Urban Promotion staff of Island Records in New York. Among his other posts: Regional Promotion Manager/Urban Music, Virgin Records; Director of A&R, Virgin Records; National Director of Jazz Promotion, Atlantic Records; Vice-President of Promotion, N-Coded Music; along with additional executive label consultations. 

Over the years, these experiences offered him the opportunity to work with an impressive array of artists as a producer or promotion/marketing executive. The list includes: Jimmy Heath; Joe Henderson; Gerald Albright; Gary Bartz; Will Downing; Cyrus Chestnut; Jonathan Butler; Regina Carter; Candy Dulfer; Nestor Torres; entertainer Bill Cosby; and many more. Jimmy Heath’s Verve release “Little Man Big Band”, produced by Mr. Cathey and Mr. Cosby, was a 1994 Grammy nominee for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Recording.

Eulis was a member of The National Academy Of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), as well as a multiple nominee for Promotion Executive Of The Year from record industry publications Radio & Records and The Gavin Report. He was an independent record producer, promotion/marketing consultant, and voice over talent. His work included hosting at WBGO and SIRIUS-XM radio stations, The Jazz Cruise, Pappy Martin Legacy – Masten Jazz Festival, Charlie Parker Festival and countless other jazz events. 

Eulis’ contribution to the Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective, as an esteemed board member, supporter and friend, was always with generous guidance and genuine encouragement. His impact on the worldwide culture of jazz is legendary and monumental. Let us honor not only his special place in the jazz community, but also, the beautiful way in which he lived his life as a kind and humble man. Eulis, in his quiet and unassuming manner, possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of the art form known as jazz, but also, an overwhelming connection to the human spirit. His warm smile and gentle demeanor created a welcoming aura to anyone who was in his company.

Surrounded by beautiful music, may Eulis rest in peace and love.

Please extend your thoughts and prayers to his mother, Mrs. Ruth Cathey, his sister, Patrice Cathey, and other family members as they mourn the loss of a profoundly special member of their family. Eulis M Cathey, Jr. was 67 years young.He transitioned in his   home in Buffalo on April 27.

On May 8, 2021 (12 noon) a  Memorial Service will be broadcast via ZOOM from  Alan Core Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to:

The Jazz Foundation of America Musicians Emergency Fund…”In Memory of Eulis Cathey”


 Jazz Foundation of America

247 W. 37thStreet

New York, NY 10018

 Submitted by Dawn Martin Berry-Walker, Pappy Martin Legacy Jazz Collective