Jack Irby

baritone saxophonist based in the
Washington, DC metro area

Jack is a native of Richmond, Virginia. At age 11, Jack picked up the saxophone for his middle school band and has not put it down since. He started off playing the alto saxophone; however, as he progressed as a musician, Jack was drawn to the music of baritone saxophone masters Pepper Adams, Harry Carney, and Gerry Mulligan. He quickly fell in love with the baritone saxophone's deep, rich tone and made it his primary instrument. Jack earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in both music and mathematics from the University of Virginia, where he cultivated his passion for jazz music under the artistic mentorship of saxophonist Jeff Decker, trumpeter John D'earth, and guitarist Mike Rosensky. In 2016, Jack earned a Master of Music degree, with a jazz studies concentration, from George Mason University. There, he was priviledged to further his study of the saxophone and jazz improvisation with saxophonists Dr. Tyler Kuebler and Jim Carroll and guitarist Dr. Shawn Purcell.

Jack currently resides in McLean, Virginia and performs all over Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC in genres ranging from jazz to funk to rock. He has performed as a part of the DC Funk Parade, the H Street Festival, the 2017 Rosslyn Jazz Fest, and at prominent venues such as Blues Alley and the Hylton Performing Arts Center. He can be heard on Grammy-nominated bluegrass and country group Dailey & Vincent’s 2015 album Alive! in Concert and as a featured soloist on the 2016 Mason Jazz CD Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Swing.

In addition to performing, Jack maintains an active career as an educator. He served on the staff of the 2016 and 2017 National Jazz Workshop held at George Mason University, and he has worked at several Fairfax County high schools leading sectionals for the schools' marching bands. Jack also taught a beginning music theory class for elementary school children at the Sitar Arts Center in Washington, DC. Currently, Jack offers private saxophone lessons for students of all ages and abilities, and he is delighted to share his love of music with his pupils.

"[Jack] works unrelentingly on his technique and on the jazz language; he's always in the practice room." - John D'earth

Education

I am passionate about music and dedicated to mastering my craft, and my goal is to share that passion and dedication with my students. I believe that practice is a fun activity that all muscians should want to do and I encourage my students to discover this by helping them internalize and create their own practice materials while finding the music hidden underneath the exercises. I teach students of all saxophones at all skill levels. When teaching a lesson, I focus on developing a strong techinal foundation on the saxophone complemented by an emphasis on the following skills:

  • Music theory
  • Developing a practice routine
  • Improvisation
  • Ear training
  • Composition
  • Sight reading

I am a woodwind instructor at Middle C Music located in the Tenleytown neighborhood of Washington, DC. At the moment I am only taking private students through Middle C Music. Please visit their page to see about scheduling a lesson.

I also offer teaching services in a sectional or ensemble settings. If you would like to contact me about sectional leading or ensemble coaching please visit the Contact section.

Media

Be sure to check out and subscribe to my Facebook and YouTube pages for more media updates.

Thaxted

My take on Holst. The melody is taken from the middle section of "Jupiter" with an original reharmonization. This piece was recorded for my graduate recital at George Mason University.

Beautiful Love

Here's "Beautiful Love" with my organ trio performing at Drift on 7th in Washington, DC (now, sadly, closed) as a part of the Shaw Music Series. Pretty good for being shot on my old iPhone 5!

The Chicken

The Too Damn Big Orchestra performing a classic Pee Wee Ellis tune at our regular gig at Flanagan's Harp & Fiddle in Bethesda, Maryland. Check the Upcoming Performances section to find out when you can hear us next!

Contact

If you want to contact me regarding booking, upcoming performances, or private lessons please fill out the form below and I will be in touch! Feel free to also send me an email directly at saxirby@gmail.com.

Upcoming Performances

January

1.25.20, Saturday, 9:30pm-1:30am
With The Too Damn Big Orchestra
Flanagan's Harp & Fiddle, Bethesda, MD

March

3.20.20, Friday, 7:00-9:00pm
With the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra
The Levine School, Silver Spring, MD