Fred Irby, III, a native of Mobile, Alabama, is a graduate of Grambling State University (Louisiana) and Southern Illinois University (Edwardsville). As Professor of Music at Howard University in Washington, DC, he is the Coordinator of Instrumental Music, trumpet instructor, and Director of the internationally acclaimed Howard University Jazz Ensemble (HUJE).
Mr. Irby is also Principal Trumpet of the Kennedy Center Opera House Show Orchestra and has recorded several films for the History Channel. He can be heard playing principal trumpet on the cast recording of Stephen Sondheim's latest musical BOUNCE.
The HUJE has 30 recordings to its credit, given concerts in China, Japan, Romania, Haiti, Trinidad, Jamaica, Guatemala, Colombia, US Virgin Islands, Martinique. He was featured on the 1992, 1996 and 2005 Kennedy Center Honors Gala (CBS-TV), and served as Music Director for the Washington Ballet during its visit in 2002 to Havana, Cuba for the 17th International Ballet Festival. Irby visited Caracas, Venezuela (February 3-7, 2004) with the Howard University Jazztet giving lectures at several universities. In 2005, he took the HUJE to Japan to give benefit concerts for the children and families that were afflicted by the Tsunami.
Mr. Irby holds active membership in the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, IAJE: The International Association for Jazz Education, MENC: The National Association for Music Education, The American Federation of Musicians and is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Women's Brass Conference.