Edward Anthony James Sarley was born November 24, 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio; the son of Edward and Anne Sarley, and the grandson of Ante Šarlija, a Croatian immigrant who came to America in the early 1900s. He discovered music while attending St. Mel’s Grade School in Cleveland’s West Park neighborhood, where he learned how to read music and how to sing. At 8 years of age, he began taking lessons on the accordion from Ed DiFiore, and through him, learned many techniques associated with being a good musician; including sight reading and melodic improvisation. He was encouraged in his musical pursuits by his two uncles, John “Dibby” Braidic and Joe Kostrek, who were professional musicians and played the guitar and accordion respectively. Ed’s mother, father, and sister, Laura, were also good singers, while his younger brother, Greg, was a naturally gifted guitarist. Family get togethers invariably turned into all day concerts where Ed and the rest of his family would teach each other new songs, accompaniment chords, and guitar “licks”. This provided Ed with a solid foundation of pop songs, standards, and musicianship during his pre-teen years. In 1964, he formed his first band Standing Room Only with original members Jim Stamper and Alan Chupa. Along with brother Greg Sarley; and later on, George Sipl; this was the original lineup.
While attending St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland, he learned how to play the bass and electric guitar. He also played in his first bands while maintaining a rigorous academic schedule, which included the study of many sciences and languages. He played clarinet in the marching and concert bands and sang in the choir. It was during this time that Ed began performing regularly in and around Cleveland, including playing bass and guitar at school dances and parties.
After high school, Ed enrolled at The University Of Dayton in southern Ohio as a Music Education Major. There he studied voice and piano as well as honing his skills as an acoustic guitarist and songwriter. He returned home his junior year and continued his music studies at Cleveland State University before embarking on a full-time career in music. While a student at CSU, he sang and played in the band S.R.O. with his brother Greg, and schoolmate George Sipl, at a host of concert halls and clubs, including the now legendary Cleveland Agora.
During the Eighties, Ed sang and played as a full-time professional musician in many Northern Ohio bands while continuing to study the craft of songwriting. It was also during this time that he made his mark as a session guitarist on many music projects; including an extensive array of radio and television advertising jingles, and album releases.
Throughout the Nineties, Ed continued to front and play in many more bands while developing his original music style, which is a unique blend of Pop, Rock, Country, Jazz and Blues. In 1996, he released his first solo CD, “Beautiful Things”, featuring 14 original tunes by Ed as the songwriter.
Ed relocated to Nashville in the Fall of 2009, only to lose most of his possessions (except for his guitars, and the tools of his trade) in the Nashville flooding of May, 2010. He has returned to his hometown of Cleveland, and is currently playing regionally with The GeezeCats, as well as with his own band Buzzy J & The Verbs, a new duo with George Sipl called Those Guys, and as a Solo Artist.
2012 saw the release of Ed's second solo CD, “From Nashville With Love”, featuring 10 songs written, performed, and produced by Ed while he lived in Nashville before the flood.
In 2017, he released his third solo album entitled "Moments", an all instrumental outing featuring Ed as composer and multi-instrumentalist in a New Age Jazz setting.
Still a very active live performer, with a schedule that encompasses over 150 shows each year, Ed asserts : "I always approach each and every show as if it was my very first and will be my very last. That way, everyone will see and hear me at my very best".