“I’ve been very fortunate,” says JazzTimes founder, former record-store owner and ex-jazz drummer Ira Sabin. “I’ve always done what I wanted to all my life. Running a store may have seemed a drag, but I made it a happening thing. The magazine is doing great; it started as a handout in the store, and now we’ve got a large staff—a bunch of good people. I’ve had a ball!”
Ira still talks like the bebop drummer he once was, and in the near quarter-century that I’ve known him I’ve yet to see a frown on his face. He is that true rara avis: a happy man. It all started when he was 12, not long after the Brooklyn-born boy had moved with his family to Washington, D.C. “The Veterans of Foreign Wars hosted an assembly at school, asking for volunteers for a drum-and-bugle corps. I raised my hand and they gave me a drum,” Ira recalls.