Film Scoring Faculty: Ira Newborn

Film Scoring Faculty Composer-in-Residence

Ira Newborn (B.S. Music Education and Performance, 1972) began his musical career playing in and leading numerous R&R, R&B and jazz groups. He studied jazz guitar with Lenny Frank and Jim Hall, and classical guitar with Miroslav Jesic and Alberto Valdes Blaine earning a BS in Music with a dual major in Classical Guitar from Steinhardt NYU. Coming from a musical home, Professor Newborn was exposed to and influenced by composers from Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms to Mahalia Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, James Brown and the Beatles. This wide exposure made him extremely versatile and able to work in many aspects of the entertainment business: concerts, clubs, commercials, Broadway, records and motion pictures as guitarist, musical director, arranger, conductor and composer.

In 1974, as musical director of The Manhattan Transfer, Professor Newborn moved from New York to Los Angeles to direct this legendary group’s summer T.V. show, first 3 albums, and world tours. While in Los Angeles, he worked in various capacities on many records featuring such artists as Diana Ross, The Pointer Sisters, Barbara Streisand, Billy Joel ( a childhood friend), Cher, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles and others. In 1980, he realized a major career change when as musical director, producer and composer he "rescued" The Blues Brothers movie from a variety of musical problems. After that, Ira continued to play in and arrange for major label recording but began to lean more toward film composition. Since then he has composed the scores for movies such as Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, Wise Guys, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Naked Gun, The Naked Gun 2 1/2, Uncle Buck, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Innocent Blood, Ace Ventura Pet Detective and many others.