Ever since the early 1970's, Ira was destined in life to be a band leader. A drum major/saxophonist at Patrick Henry High School in San Diego, California, he was voted most valuable band member his senior year. In the local, regional and national scenes, Ira acquired extensive experiences in all phases of the music and entertainment industry. From music management, retail/wholesale products, talent acquisition, concert production & promotion, to jazz education and recording production.
Ira B. Liss, at 6 feet 7 inches tall, is Southern California's most imminently watchable bandleader of San Diego’s favorite Big Band: The Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine, his 18-piece jazz orchestra which he started in 1979.
His performance credits include work with such world renowned artists as: Bobby Caldwell, Harry Connick, Sr., Rob McConnell, Barney Kessel, Stan Kenton, George Shearing, Bob Mintzer, Barbara Morrison, Peter Sprague, Charles McPherson, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Pete Barbutti, Bill Acosta, Bernie Dresel, Holly Hofmann, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, Shirley Jones, Thad Jones, Blue Mitchell, Chuck Findley, Bob Summers, Gary Foster, Don Menza, John Guerin and The Jimmy Maxwell Orchestra, Eric Marienthal, Bruce Babad, Wayne Bergeron, Dean Brown, Bill Cantos and Gilbert Castellanos, Bob Stone, Louie Bellson, and Howie Lindeman.
His productions skills in the recording studio have produced 5 compacts discs that all have received international recognition. First Impressions in 1995; Everything Under The Sun in 1999 (Best Jazz CD - San Diego Music Awards); Symphomaniacs in 2002; It’s About Time in 2013 (Voted one of the Top Ten Jazz CD’s of 2013 by KSDS Jazz 88.3 FM) featuring Dean Brown, Gilbert Castellanos, Eric Marienthal, Bill Cantos and Wayne Bergeron; and Tasty Tunes in 2018 featuring Holly Hofmann, Bob Mintzer, Eric Marienthal and Dean Brown.