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David Irwin – In Memoriam

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by Andrew Patton on July 28, 2014

The Columbus jazz scene suffered a sad loss with the July 15th passing of bassist and composer David Irwin at the age of 47. Irwin played in many bands over his 30 year career, and was active in the Kate Ross Quintet, After Hours, and The Back Porch Swing Band at the time of his death. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Irwin’s family and friends in this difficult time.

Irwin’s full obituary follows:

Composer, lyricist, husband, father, and bassist extraordinaire, Dave Irwin, passed away unexpectedly on July 15th, 2014. He is survived by his loving wife Aletha, and three daughters, Orion, Lyra, and Aja. Dave was born on May 20, 1967 to Paul and Brenda (Joyce) Irwin in Columbus, OH. Dave’s music career began at the age of 15 when his dad bought him his first bass and signed him up for lessons with the incomparable Cornell Wiley. Dave received a music degree from Capital University and attended The Ohio State University and DeVry University of Technology. By day, Dave was a computer programmer/system analyst for Discover Financial Services where he worked for 25 years. He created many programs which automated processes and because of his numerous contributions, he was a recipient of the highest award at Discover, the President’s Plate award. By night, Dave was the consummate musician. Even when he was in the ICU at the hospital, we played his mandolin with a smile on his face.

Over the years, Dave was a member of Ronnie Taylor and Blue Shadow, A Moment’s Notice, Rick Brunetto Big Band, and the David Paul Unit, just to name a few. At the time of his death, he was actively performing with After Hours, The Kate Ross Quintet, and The Back Porch Swing Band. Over the years Dave made many, many friends, some of which turned into friendships lasting over 30 years (Caleb Hutslar, Rick Soriano, and Mark Williams). He brought years of enjoyment to all that had the pleasure of hearing him perform. His music will live on with albums such as “A Few Smooth Grooves”, “Up Into the Big Blue Sound”, “When the Fiddle Swings”, and “People Make the World Go Round”. Luckily, his daughters have been blessed to have received his musical gene and will continue to grow musically and make him proud.

Along with Dave’s love for his family, friends, and music, he was also an avid motorcycle rider and member of the Central Ohio chapter of the Victory Motorcycle Club. So in the words of Bob Stephenson, “Ride Safe My Friend.”

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