I did not have a lot of contact with Ira on a personal level. He played Keyboard and so we never really got to hang on the bandstand much. However the band Ruach, specifically, the album with V'olu Moshiyim and Shoshanas Yaakov was my introduction into the world of Jewish Music. Growing up in the 70's in Queens and playing accordion, I listened to that album hundreds of times.
When I played NCSY shabbatons with Zvi Pill and Kesher we strove to be "as good as" Ruach. I never really spoke to Ira at length but he was one of the people that myself and I imagine many other musicians of my generation aspired to. Finally, I remember going as a guest to many simchas where Ira, Shmoo, and Dov would be playing and I loved listening to the beauty of their harmonies. I am not sure anyone sung together as well as those three on a gig. It was the perfect combo. Ira's passing saddened me and I wish his family and friends only simchas from now on. May he be a Meilitz Yosher for all of us here in this world!
Lenny Solomon - Bet Shemesh