Fred Irby, III is a native of Mobile, Alabama and a graduate of Grambling State University (LA) 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). The HUJE has given concerts in China, Japan, Europe, South America, Africa and the Caribbean, produced forty one (41) recordings and was featured during the Kennedy Center Honors Gala (CBS-TV) in 1992, 1996 & 2005 and other nationally televised events in the United States and abroad. Mr. Irby is the Principal Trumpet of the Kennedy Center Opera House Musical Theater Orchestra and is in demand as a trumpet artist, conductor, clinician, adjudicator and consultant. He served as Musical Director for the Washington Ballet in 2004 during the 17th International Ballet Festival in Havana, Cuba. He performed in the orchestras for the 87th, 88th  & 89th  Academy Awards Gala (Oscars), 56th Primetime Emmy Awards, Dancing with the Stars, America’s Got Talent, and was principal trumpet for the cast album of Stephen Sondheim’s musical “BOUNCE”. He was designated a Lowell Mason Fellow by the National Association for Music Education (2009), received the 2009 Disney Performing Arts Award for Excellence in Teaching Jazz, inducted into the Grambling State University “Alumni Hall of Fame” (2008), inducted into the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville “Alumni Hall of Fame” (2016), received an Achievement Award in Jazz Education (2008) from downbeat Magazine, received the Ronnie Wells Jazz Service Award during the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival and was given a Lifetime Achievement Award during the 2016 DC Jazz Festival Gala at the Kennedy Center. Additionally, he is an honorary member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Jazz Arts Institute (WJAI) and the International Women’s Brass Conference (IWBC).
Professor Irby has been a member of the Howard University Department of Music faculty since 1974.