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 Â 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 Â in Thousand Oaks, sponsored by the Hogan Family Foudation celebrating over 10 years of concerts in the Park.
He has performed/recorded Â with Paul McCartney, Elton John, Leon Russell ,Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Elvis Costello, BB King Â (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.
Education: 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 from Herold Diner, Bob Edmondson, Dick Nash, Robert Marsteller, Roy Main, Doc Rheinhardt,Uan Racey, Jimmy Stamp, and Trummy Young.
Jazz Festivals- He helped initiate the first Santa Barbara Jazz Festival (1981), All Womens 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.
Bachelors of Music and Education from the University of Hawaii
Masters in Music from USC
Teaching for over 30 years, publicly and privately
Jazz and Music Education, Improvisation Specialist