Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Jazz saxophonist Sherman Irby was born on March 24, 1968, and raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Sherman began playing music at the age of 12, almost immediately recognizing that it was his life's calling.

Upon graduating from high school - during which he had the opportunity to play and record with Gospel immortal James Cleveland - he attended Clark Atlanta University, graduating with a B.A. in Music Education. In 1991 he joined Atlanta-based piano legend Johnny O'Neal's quintet.

Soon after moving to New York in 1994, Sherman connected with the fertile and vital scene at Smalls, where he was a regular until 1997. While there, he caught the attention of Blue Note Records and proceeded to record his first two albums, Full Circle (1996) and Big Mama's Biscuits (1998).

During the Smalls period Sherman also toured the U.S. and the Caribbean with the Boys Choir of Harlem in 1995; was a member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra from 1995 to 1997; recorded and toured with Marcus Roberts and participated in the incomparable Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead Program during those same years; and began his four year stint with Roy Hargrove in 1997. Recognizing the shift in economics of the record industry, Sherman left Blue Note to form Black Warrior Records, releasing Black Warrior (2001), Faith (2004), and Organ Starter (2006).

In recent years, Sherman took the opportunity to join the final touring ensemble of the peerless Elvin Jones in 2004, and after Elvin's passing, joined Papo Vázquez's Pirates Troubadours. Currently, he has re-joined the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and continues to perform with his quartet and his newly formed group, Organomics.

Sherman resides in New Jersey with his wife Laura and daughter Charli.

Rehearsal with Sherman Irby and Buster Williams (bass)

Reference - AAJ

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