Ira Coleman was born on April 29th, 1956 in Stockholm, Sweden. He was raised in France until 1968 and thereafter lived in Germany for fourteen years. He studied bass at Germany’s “Hochschule für Musik, Köln” from 1980 to 1982. Thereafter, he moved to the US to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated in 1985.
Ira Coleman currently resides in Rhinebeck, New York and has performed with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Jessye Norman, Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington Jr., Barbara Hendricks, Branford Marsalis, Betty Carter, Kathleen Battle, Tony Williams, Baaba Maal, Michel LeGrand, Billy Taylor, Cab Calloway, Clark Terry, Billy Cobham, Monty Alexander, Bobby Hutcherson, Hank Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Art Farmer, Jon Faddis, Benny Golson, Jon Hendricks, Nat Adderley, Jackie McLean, Mulgrew Miller, Billy Pierce, Barney Wilen, Kenny Barron, Franco Ambrosetti, Wallace Roney, Geri Allen, Joe Chambers, Joanne Brackeen, Charles Mc Pherson, Tom Harrell, Arthur Taylor, Randy Brecker, Roy Haynes, Jacky Terrasson, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Ensemble, and The Duke Ellington Orchestra under the direction of Mercer Ellington.
Ira Coleman has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Tokyo’s Budokkan Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertsgebouw, Paris Théatre du Châtelet, Montreux Stravinsky Hall, Cologne Philharmonie, the Hollywood Bowl, Beiteddine (Lebanon), Berkeley’s Greek Theatre, Royal Caribbean’s Jazz Cruises as well as at the JVC, Nice Berlin, Mt. Fuji, Paris, Playboy, Antibes-Juan les Pins, Tenerife, Pan Jazz, North Sea, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Pori and the Montreal Jazz Festival. Ira Coleman played the WOMAD Festival in Australia and New Zealand.
Ira Coleman was the musical director for Ernest Ranglin’s Ska Ensemble from 1996-1999 and is Dee Dee Bridgewater’s MD since 2002. Ira Coleman has branched out to collaborate with musicians from various musical backgrounds, arrange and produce. He has performed and recorded with a variety of African musicians.
Ira Coleman has performed in the following countries: Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Dubai, England, Estonia, Finland, France, French Antilles, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Russia, Scotland, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Trinidad, Turkey and Vietnam. Mr. Coleman has toured in Europe, South East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand for the French Cultural Association (Alliance Française).