Ed Harcourt (born August 14, 1977) is an English singer-songwriter from Sussex. Born Edward Harcourt-Smith, the third son of a career army officer, his family home is the manor house of Wootton. He is a great-nephew of the celebrated food author Elizabeth David and of Nicholas Ridley, Baron Ridley of Liddesdale, and a great-grand nephew of the controversial one-time Mayor of Eastbourne, Roland Gwynne.
Harcourt's primary instrument is the piano, but he also plays numerous less familiar keyboard instruments as well as the guitar and percussion. When performing live he is most often accompanied by a band typically comprising a drummer (usually Raife Burchell), bass player (Ashley Dzerigian / Arnulf Lindner / Ali Friend), guitarist (usually Leo Abrahams or Ewan Warden), violinist (Gita Harcourt) and trumpeter (Hadrian Garrard / Gerry Atkins / Nick Etwell / Stewart Cole). Ed also sometimes performs solo.
In mid-October 2007, Ed released the retrospective collection Until Tomorrow Then: The Best of Ed Harcourt, collecting material from the first 7 years of his solo recording career. A tour of the UK followed.
Ed has opened for many artists over the years including R.E.M., Snow Patrol, Wilco, Beth Orton, Gutter Twins, Divine Comedy, Supergrass, Norah Jones, Brian Jonestown Massacre and Neil Finn. Bands and artists who have supported Ed on his own tours include Magnet, The Magic Numbers, The Tiny, and Feist, as well as a wide variety of emerging British talents, notably Hush the Many (Heed the Few). He has peformed with Patti Smith and her band as well as as Marianne Faithful during the 2005 Meltdown.
He recorded several tracks with the French Jazz quartet Erik Truffaz for their album "Arkhangelsk", released in 2007. Harcourt also performed live with the group to promote the album.
Ed is now on Dovecote Records in the U.S. In the UK, however, speculation on the official Ed Harcourt forum claims that Ed and Heavenly Records/EMI have parted ways, although no official statement has been issued. The speculation sustains that Until Tomorrow Then: The Best of Ed Harcourt fulfilled his record contract, and that EMI--since being acquired by new owners Terra Firma Capital Partners--dropped Ed from the label.
Harcourt more recently opened for the Gutter Twins on their European tour as well as joining the group on stage to play guitar on some songs, most notably on their appearance on 'Later! with Jools Holland' .