Ira Sullivan

Ira Sullivan Biography
Ira Sullivan, who is equally skilled on trumpet and a variety of reeds, is one of the great talents in jazz. But due to his desire to be away from the spotlight, his contributions have often been overlooked. His father taught him the trumpet and his mother the saxophone. Sullivan was a key part of the Chicago jazz scene of the 1950s, jamming with visiting all-stars and, in 1956, spending some time with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He settled in Florida in the early ’60s and, although he has been active locally, he only emerges on the national jazz scene on an irregular basis. His most notable association since the ’60s was with Red Rodney in a brilliant (and fortunately well-recorded) quintet that also included pianist Garry Dial. Sullivan has retained an open-minded approach to music and has never been afraid to try new things. Virtually all of his recordings offer some surprises. ~ Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

Hyperbole surrounds Ira Sullivan. It is evident in both his music and his life. His talent has been called ?Pure lyric,? ?Fire,? ?Formidable,? ?Complex,? ?Ornate,? ?Unparalleled,? ?Haunting,? or, more simply, ?Legend.? Some reviewers say he is a musical genius; others say this is an understatement. They cite his ability to pick up a strange instrument and, within a few days, to be as conversant with it as if he had been playing it for years. World class multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan plays trumpet, flugelhorn, peckhorn, tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones, flute, and an occasional round of drums, all of them impeccably and not as a gimmick. A master of almost the entire range of brass and reed instruments, he is known for his ability to come in cold and turn in a stellar performance. Ira is widely recorded and tours on the national and international jazz circuits. A five-time Grammy nominee, he serves as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. As a clinician, lecturer, and adjudicator in jazz workshops at universities and schools across the country and abroad, he finds that the History of Jazz programs that he initiated while attending high school in Chicago are now being replicated in many of these institutions. One if his current projects is an ensemble he calls the INTER/OUTERCONTINENTAL JAZZ QUARTET. Together, this unique and multiethnic group expresses a wide spectrum of the jazz milieu, dipping freely into both traditional and uncommon territory. Ira Sullivan feels that music is one of the finest gifts God has bestowed upon mankind. He believes that it transcends mere entertainment, and that it can be healing to the human spirit. One of his greatest joys is leading Jazz Vespers at the many churches he plays, where the congregations share his belief that there is a dynamic spiritual connotation to this most American of musical styles. It is this spiritual impulse that most clearly defines Ira Sullivan?s music. For forty years, he has ended his performances a ll over the world with the venerable hymn ?Amazing Grace,? a soulful salute to the Spirit within.

Ira Sullivan “After Hours”
Ira Sullivan “EAST COAST” (new release)
“Sprint” (With Red Rodney) 
Ira Sullivan “Strings Attached” 
“Live at the Village Vanguard” (with Red Rodney) 
Ira Sullivan “Does it All” 
Red Rodney featuring Ira Sullivan “Alive in New York” 
“Questique” (with Tony Castellano, Pete Minger, Gary Campbell, Don Coffman & Neil Rodgers) 
“Nadia’s Them” Varied Artists Anthology 
“Gulfstream “Ted Shumate with Ira Sullivan 
Tony Castellano featuring Ira Sullivan “Wonderful Ones” 
Lin Halliday with Ira Sullivan “Delayed Exposure” 
Lin Halliday with Ira Sullivan “East of the Sun” 
Lin Halliday “Where or When” 
Jim Cooper with Ira Sullivan “Nutville” 
Tough Town” with Jim Cooper 
Joe Diorio & Ira Sullivan “The Breeze and I”