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Ira Dean: A Grammy-Nominated Musician Lends a Voice to Pancreatic Cancer Research
Hear Ira Dean sing live coming soon August 18th at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin during the Seena Magowitz Foundation’s “Power Of Us” annual fundraiser.
To view full event details or register, checkout Our Milwaukee Event This Month.
Ira is a Grammy-nominated songwriter and entertainer, an Academy of Country Music (ACM) and American Music Award (AMA) winner, and the author of some of country music’s biggest hits, and while Ira Dean’s calendar is fuller than most, he still manages to find time to “pay it forward.”
The Nashville-based hitmaker known for partnering with the likes of Gary Allan, Trace Adkins, Aaron Lewis, Rascal Flatts and Brooks and Dunn’s Ronnie Dunn has become a longtime friend of the Seena Magowitz Foundation, taking time out of his packed schedule to play fundraisers and lend support to the fight against pancreatic cancer.
Introduced to Foundation Founder and CEO Roger Magowitz by the legendary NFL quarterback Jim McMahon, Ira first lent his time and talents to the Seena Magowitz Foundation back in 2012, at the foundation’s 10th anniversary celebration. In the years since, he’s remained a dedicated supporter of the nonprofit and its efforts to eradicate pancreatic cancer, both by performing at foundation events and by playing songs for the members of the foundation’s virtual support groups.
I love Roger; he’s doing a great thing,” Ira said, of his support of the Seena Magowitz Foundation. “I’m more than happy to help out with anything he needs.”
While Ira doesn’t have personal connections to pancreatic cancer, he does have an extensive family history of other types of cancer, helping drive his decision to partner with the foundation. And while his plans for the future include finishing his latest album, recording a duet with Ronnie Dunn and continuing to carve out a name for himself in the world of country music, he also makes a point to stay humble and raise awareness about issues that matter – much like the late Johnny Cash, who Ira counted as both a source of inspiration and a close personal friend.
A one-time maintenance man, Ira had decided it was time for a career change and made the decision to move to Nashville, Tennessee, from North Carolina after electrocuting himself on the job. He was living on a friend’s couch and performing locally when a guest struck up a conversation, asking Ira if he’d like to stay rent-free at his parents’ house.
Little did Ira know that the guest’s parents were none other than June and Johnny Cash, and in no time, he went from sleeping on a friend’s couch to staying in the round bedroom at the home of two of country music’s biggest names. And while the entire Cash family has been a huge source of support and inspiration for Ira, he’s especially grateful for some of the lessons he learned from the music legend known for his black wardrobe, rebellious streak and lengthy catalog of country hits.
“The entire Cash family is like family to me,” he said, noting that being around Johnny and the rest of the Cash family taught him a lot about humility and altruism. “He was one of those people who never forgot where they came from, no matter how big they made it. He taught me about not letting anything go to your head and always remaining humble and kind.”
Ira’s own humility and kindness continue to strike a chord with Roger Magowitz and the entire Seena Magowitz team.
“Ira is an incredibly talented musician and songwriter, but beyond that, he’s a humble, generous and decent human being,” said Seena Magowitz Foundation Founder & CEO Roger Magowitz. “We’re incredibly grateful for his support, his participation in foundation events, and his willingness to use his notoriety to help spotlight this cause and raise awareness of pancreatic cancer.”