Walter Johnson was born in Deland and came to New Smyrna Beach in 1980 to purchase Settle Wilder Funeral Home, which he operated for forty years. He was active in the community and was past commodore of both Smyrna Yacht Club and Anglers Yacht Club. His hobbies included aviation as a licensed commercial pilot, which allowed innumerable trips to the Bahamas and other places, boating, fishing and playing the piano which he did at the Smyrna Yacht Club on numerous occasions. He enjoyed listening to the late Harold Blanchard playing improvisational jazz. Walter was a sponsor of the New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival since 2001.
Ira was born in Washington, D.C. and picked up a trumpet at age 3-1/2, not long before his family moved to Chicago. During his career in the windy city, he played with jazz greats Charlie Parker and Lester Young. He moved to Miami in 1962 and was popular in the Central Florida area. Ira played at Clancy’s Cantina for the 2012 NSB Jazz Festival.