24 March 1968, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA. A remarkably gifted alto saxophonist, Irby draws much of his musical inspiration, as player and composer, from his black roots. In the mid-90s he attracted notice playing in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and from then until the end of the decade he was with Roy Hargroves band. In 2000 he established his own label, Black Warrior Records. Aside from jazz, Irby has an abiding interest in classical music and has moved in this direction with some of his compositions. A fluid and inventive player, Irbys attachment to his musical and familial roots has helped give his work a density and strength. Clearly eager to develop and expand as performer and composer, Irbys name is one to look out for in the twenty-first century.