Happy Birthday Ira Nepus

September 5, 1945

 

A tribute to the versatile and swinging trombonist

Ira Nepus was born and raised in Los Angeles on Sept. 5, 1945, and he began on the trombone when he was ten.

At the first concert in which he performed, the 15-year old trombonist played with such notables as Kid Ory, Barney Bigard and Rex Stewart; he considers his inspirations to include Trummy Young, Dick Nash and Benny Carter.

Since that time, Nepus has performed in a wide variety of jazz settings including working with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra for over 30 years, performing with Gerald Wilson, Lionel Hampton, Benny Carter, Woody Herman, Johnny Mandel, Ella Fitzgerald, Cab Calloway and Diana Krall among many others, and appearing on records by Paul McCartney, Elton John, B.B. King and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

A studio musician, educator, and performer who also leads his own quartet and plays with the LA 6Jazz Sextet, Ira Nepus (who is now 75) certainly keeps busy.

The Ira Nepus Quartet with pianist Rich Eames, bassist Jeff D’Angelo, and drummer Paul Kreibich performs “Still” in this video which, in addition to photos of the musicians, displays a variety of colorful paintings by Danielle Nepus.

-Scott Yanow

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