R.I.P. Ignatius Jones AM of Jimmy and the Boys and Pardon Me Boys - Noise11.com
Ignatius Jones at the Countdown Spectacular 2 Rod Laver Arena photo by Ros O'Gorman

Ignatius Jones at the Countdown Spectacular 2 Rod Laver Arena photo by Ros O'Gorman

R.I.P. Ignatius Jones AM of Jimmy and the Boys and Pardon Me Boys

by Paul Cashmere on May 8, 2024

in News

Ignatius Jones, best known as the singer of Jimmy and the Boys, jazz cabaret act ‘Pardon Me Boys’ and then director of major events including the City of Sydney Millennium Celebrations and Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony segment (horses) has died at his home in the Philippines.

Jones was born in Manila, Philippines in 1957. He became an Australian citizen in 1971.

Iggy’s sister Monica Trapaga announced his passing issuing the following statement:

IGNATIUS JONES, PERFORMER, WRITER, EVENT DIRECTOR, HAS DIED It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Ignatius Jones AM, after a short illness.

He died peacefully at 9.30pm, Sydney time, last night (7 May) at Iloilo City, the Philippines. Known professionally as Ignatius Jones, by his friends as ‘Iggy’, and by his family as ‘Nacho’, Juan Ignacio Trápaga y Esteban was born in the Philippines in 1957, before the family moved to Wahroonga, Sydney. Iggy had immense creative energy, and spent over 50 years contributing to the arts, both in Australia and internationally. He was one of the world’s leading Event Directors, Devisors and Designers. He contributed to Australia’s arts as director, performer, and author, first achieving success as a singer with his shock rock band ‘Jimmy And The Boys’, and later forming the swing band ‘Pardon Me Boys’, featuring his sister, Monica Trápaga.

For six years he was director of the Sydney New Year’s Eve Celebrations (1996-2002), and personally directed the City of Sydney’s Millennium Celebrations. He was Artistic Director for the Sydney Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Segment (horses) and the Harbour Spectacular Closing Ceremony, and the City of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve and Centenary of Federation Celebrations. Further afield, he directed productions for Dolly Parton in Tennessee, and staged the Independence Ceremonies of East Timor in May 2002. He co-directed the Ceremonies of the Doha 2006 Asian Games, the Opening Ceremony of Shanghai 2010 World Expo and the Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. From 2011 until 2019 Jones was Creative Director of Vivid Sydney and was Artistic Director for the Sydney Mardi Gras Parade (2011-2015).

Iggy was immensely proud in 2018, when he was Awarded Full Membership of the Order of Australia, General Division, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth Il as part of the Australia Day Honours for his contribution to Entertainment and Literature. In October 2018 he married his long-time partner, Novy Bereber a Filipino-Australian choreographer from Iloilo City. He retired to the Philippines with his husband, Novy, in 2022.

His friends and family will remember Iggy as a bon-vivant, a lively raconteur and a real Renaissance man, immensely and passionately knowledgeable in history and the arts. The arts community in Australia has lost a champion, and dinner parties will now be less interesting, with his passing.

He is survived by his husband, Novy, his mother, Margot Martin, his brother Luis Miguel, sisters, Rocio and Monica, and a gaggle of nieces and nephews.

Iggy Jones fronted Sydney shock rock band Jimmy and the Boys in the 70s and 80s. They had a number of hits including a cover of The Kinks ‘I’m Not Like Everybody Else’ (1979) and ‘They Won’t Let My Girlfriend Talk To Me’ (1981), written for them by Tim Finn.

After Jimmy and the Boys broke up Iggy signed a solo deal with WEA (Warner) Records and released the single ‘Like A Ghost’, written by Steve Kilbey of The Chruch.

Iggy then went into Jazz/Cabaret forming Pardon Me Boys with his sister Monica Trapaga. Monica has been a Play School presenter.

In the 1992 movie Strictly Ballroom he sang John Paul Young’s ‘Yesterday’s Heroes’.

Jones worked with David Atkins on the opening and closing ceremonies for the Sydney Olympics in 2000. They also worked together on the opening ceremony for the Shanghai 2010 World Expo and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

In 2017 Iggy was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Australian Event Awards. Jones received the Order of Australia for his contribution to the arts as a writer, director, performer and author in 2019.

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