Ira Coleman was born in Stockholm, Sweden. He was raised in France before living in Germany for fourteen years. He studied bass at Germany’s Hochschule für Musik, Köln. Thereafter he moved to the US to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston.
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.
Coleman has performed at New York’s Carnegie Hall, Tokyo’s Budokan Hall, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Paris Théatre du Châtelet, Montreux Stravinsky Hall, Cologne Philharmonie, the Hollywood Bowl, Lebanon’s Beiteddine festival, and Berkeley’s Greek Theatre, as well as the JVC, Nice Berlin, Mt. Fuji, Paris, Playboy, Antibes-Juan les Pins, Tenerife, Pan Jazz, North Sea, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Pori, and Montreal jazz festivals.
Since 2002 Coleman has served as Dee Dee Bridgewater’s music director. He has also branched out to collaborate with musicians from various musical backgrounds, including a variety of African musicians.
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. He has toured in Europe, South East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand for the French Cultural Association (Alliance Française).