IRA NEPUS was born in Los Angeles, California and was raised on the jazz
heritage of his father, one of the key founders of the Hot Club of France in Paris during
the late Thirties and was featured in his first jazz concert at the age of 15. Ira gives equal
importance to all styles of jazz, from traditional on up through contemporary.
Ira currently performs with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, which he has been
an original member of for over twenty-five years, privately teaches, and performs in all
major recording studios throughout the Los Angeles area. He also plays and tours periodically with his own quartet and continues to record in that format. He currently is artistic
director for the Gardens of the World's Summer Jazz Series in Thousand Oaks, sponsored
by the Hogan Family Foundation celebrating over 10 years of concerts in the Park.
He has performed/recorded with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Leon Russell, Big Bad
Voodoo Daddy, Elvis Costello, BB King (Grammy Winner) and/or also recorded with
some of the following greats: Benny Carter, Woody Herman, Del Courtney, Quincy Jones,
Gerald Wilson, Nelson Riddle, Lionel Hampton, Ray Charles, Sammy Davis Jr, Ella
Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall, and Cab Calloway, to name a few.
Ira is a graduate of the University of Hawaii with a Bachelor's Degree in Music and Education; and has a Masters Degree in Music and Jazz Studies from USC. He studied privately with Harold Diner, Bob Edmondson, Dick Nash, Robert Marsteller, Roy Main, Doc
Rheinhardt, Uan Racey, Jimmy Stamp, and Trummy Young.
He helped initiate the first Santa Barbara Jazz Festival (1981), All Women’s Jazz Festival
in Tokyo, Japan (1991), the first Hawaii International Jazz Festival (1994), the first Salt Lake
City International Jazz Festival (2001), the first Camarillo Arts and Jazz Festival (2003).
He has also appeared at the Playboy Jazz Festivals, Monterey Jazz Festivals, Red Sea
Jazz Festival (Eilat, Israel), and numerous others throughout Europe and the world.
In 1983, Ira pioneered the Grand Opening of Tokyo Disneyland as Band Director, Conductor, and Music Consultant for all Grand Opening Ceremonies.
In 1991 his invention of the Softone Mute found its way to brass players throughout the globe,
distributed by the Conn-Selmer Corp.