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Ian Carey

Ian Carey is a San Francisco Bay Area–based jazz trumpeter, composer, and educator who “asks deep musical questions and comes up with compelling answers” (Bill Kirchner, editor, The Oxford Companion to Jazz).

His musical projects include the IAN CAREY QUINTET+1 (“a highly skilled band of improvisers” –DownBeat), which has been performing his original compositions for over a decade and has been featured on five albums including the 2020 release Fire in My Head; WOOD METAL PLASTIC, a 7-piece group which “combines the delicately calibrated dynamics of a chamber ensemble with alternating sections of close voicings and free improvisation” (Andrew Gilbert, Berkeleyside); TAKOYAKI 4, a pared-down, street-food–style organ/horns quartet which performs original music and jazz rarities; and DUOCRACY, a duo with pianist Ben Stolorow which explores rare American standards with intimacy and interplay.

Born in Binghamton, New York, and educated in Northern California, Nevada, and New York City (where he attended the New School and lived for seven years), Ian has lived and worked in the Bay Area since 2001, performing with local bandleaders including Don Alberts, Lorin Benedict, Sam Bevan, Bryan Bowman, Anthony Brown, Nathan Clevenger, Greg Johnson, Lewis Jordan, Mark Levine, James Mahone, Ron Marabuto, Fred Randolph, Anne Sajdera, Adam Shulman, and Suzanna Smith; and in ensembles including the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, the Circus Bella All-Star Band, the Morchestra, the duo B. Experimental Band, the North Berkeley Jazz Quintet, the Lost Trio, and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra; as well as appearing with visiting luminaries including John Daversa, Anton Schwartz, and Satoko Fujii. As a composer, Ian has received commissions from Chamber Music America and Intermusic SF, and was named as one of “12 Bay Area Composers You Should Know” by SFJAZZ in 2018. He was the subject of a 2021 profile in the International Trumpet Guild Journal titled “Ian Carey: Contrast Can Be Just as Effective as Synchronicity.”

Ian is an experienced music educator who runs his own private lesson studio. He is on the faculty of Sonoma State University and the Jazzschool, and has been a visiting instructor at Stanford University, California Jazz Conservatory, Santa Rosa Junior College, Oaktown Jazz Workshops, and the Stanford Jazz Workshop.

He is also an avid writer and blogger; his writing has been featured in DownBeat and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and his essay “How Not to Become a Bitter White Jazz Musician” was mentioned by trumpeter Nicholas Payton as “the most brilliant piece that I have ever read about the dynamic of a White person in Black American Music.”

Awards

2017 Chamber Music America New Jazz Works grant recipient. Runner-up nominee, Rising Star (Trumpet), 2013 & 2014 DownBeat Critics' Poll. 2014 Musical Artists Award, Pasquina Publishing. "Roads & Codes": Best of 2013 - DownBeat Magazine (4 1/2 stars); Scott Albin; James Hale; Andrew Gilbert (NPR); Ted Gioia (hon. mention); Arnaldo DeSouteiro.


Tags

6
Album Review

Ian Carey: Strange Arts

Read "Strange Arts" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Wood Metal Plastic is a septet that consists of a jazz quartet (trumpet, alto saxophone, bass, drums) and three-member string section presided over by San Francisco Bay area-based trumpeter Ian Carey, who wrote and arranged the material on his seventh album as leader, Strange Arts. It was recorded as a tribute to Carey's father, the innovative visual artist Philip Carey, who died in 2022. Aside from Carey, those in the quartet are alto Kasey Knudsen, bassist Lisa ...

3
Album Review

Ian Carey Quintet + 1: Fire in My Head: The Anxiety Suite

Read "Fire in My Head: The Anxiety Suite" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Trumpeter Ian Carey's Fire In My Head: The Anxiety Suite opens on a somber note, not with the sense of agitation that the album title suggests. The initial moments of the tune, “Signs And Symptoms," Part 1 of the suite, may initially be addressing the fatigue common to the malady, before his Carey's Quintet + 1 gradually turns up of the momentum in the direction of that anxiety, in manifestations from the leader's horn, followed by an on-edge turn by ...

6
Album Review

Ian Carey and Ben Stolorow: Duocracy

Read "Duocracy" reviewed by Jeffrey Uhrich


Trumpeter Ian Carey and pianist Ben Stolorow shed all inhibitions and strip down to the bare essentials with their provocative new release, Duocracy. As seasoned veterans of the jny: San Francisco Bay area jazz scene, Carey and Stolorow each have released critically acclaimed albums as leaders and began playing together while gigging in the Bay Area. The two decided on the duo format as the most expedient and inventive format, albeit risky, to explore their improvisational chemistry as musicians. The ...

252
Album Review

The Ian Carey Quintet: Contextualizin'

Read "Contextualizin'" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Trumpeter Ian Carey's Contextualizin' is a digital Masters seminar. First, of course, is the music: solid, acoustic, composed, progressive, explorative. Second, is the exegesis, Carey's realization that, ..."what I played would help shape how I played..." Not technically dazzling, Carey, like Miles Davis, chooses to focus on which notes he plays (and doesn't) and their relative order as opposed to the tempo or technical exercise contained in the notes' performance. This shift in perspective moves the act of playing music ...

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Take Five With...

Take Five With Ian Carey

Read "Take Five With Ian Carey" reviewed by AAJ Staff


Meet Ian Carey: Ian Carey was born in upstate New York, where he was introduced to jazz by a performance by the great Slam Stewart at his elementary school. After studying classical trumpet at the University of Nevada, Ian headed to New York City, where he studied with legends like Andrew Cyrille and Reggie Workman. He also performed with Eddie Bert and Ravi Coltrane, and at venues including The Blue Note and Smalls. He led a quartet for four years ...

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3

Recording

SF Bay Area Trumpeter-Composer Ian Carey Pays Homage To His Late Artist Father On 'Strange Arts,' To Be Released March 22 On Slow & Steady Records

SF Bay Area Trumpeter-Composer Ian Carey Pays Homage To His Late Artist Father On 'Strange Arts,' To Be Released March 22 On Slow & Steady Records

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

Ian Carey extends his oeuvre of unique, ambitious chamber jazz with Strange Arts, set for a March 22 release on Slow & Steady Records. Carey’s seventh album is also the Bay Area trumpeter-composer’s first with his septet Wood Metal Plastic, which augments a working quartet—featuring alto saxophonist Kasey Knudsen, bassist Lisa Mezzacappa, and drummer Jon Arkin—with the free-wheeling string trio of cellist Jessica Ivry and violinists Alisa Rose and Mia Bella d’Augelli, resulting in a nimble unit that brings together ...

2

Recording

Trumpeter/Composer Ian Carey's 6th CD, "Fire In My Head: The Anxiety Suite," To Be Released April 24 By Slow & Steady Records

Trumpeter/Composer Ian Carey's 6th CD, "Fire In My Head: The Anxiety Suite," To Be Released April 24 By Slow & Steady Records

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

Bay Area trumpeter and composer Ian Carey has long aimed to blend the swing and virtuosity of jazz with the dense compositional textures of chamber music, but for his latest multi-movement creation, he turns that ambition towards a more personal topic. Fire in My Head (The Anxiety Suite) is the centerpiece of his new album, due for release by San Francisco’s Slow & Steady Records on April 24. “Normally I write a piece and try to figure out what it’s ...

4

Recording

Trumpeter/Composer Ian Carey's 5th CD, "Interview Music: A Suite For Quintet+1," To Be Released April 8 By Carey's Kabocha Records

Trumpeter/Composer Ian Carey's 5th CD, "Interview Music: A Suite For Quintet+1," To Be Released April 8 By Carey's Kabocha Records

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

Bay Area trumpeter and composer Ian Carey’s big, bold new jazz suite, Interview Music, is the centerpiece of his like-titled new album, due for release by his Kabocha Records on April 8. The piece, which was premiered in 2013 at the California Jazz Conservatory (formerly the Jazzschool) in Berkeley, is a 45- minute, four-movement adventure and Carey’s longest composition to date. It is a vehicle for both his intricate writing and the improvisational chops of his group, the Ian Carey ...

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Event

Trumpeter Ian Carey To Premiere "Interview Music: A Suite For Quintet+1" In Berkeley, Sept. 20

Trumpeter Ian Carey To Premiere "Interview Music: A Suite For Quintet+1" In Berkeley, Sept. 20

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

“The first thing you need to know about ‘Interview Music,’” says Bay Area trumpeter and composer Ian Carey about his new jazz suite, “is that it’s not about trying to get more interviews.” (Though he’s not averse to the idea, he adds.) The piece, which will be premiered at the California Jazz Conservatory (formerly the Jazzschool) in Berkeley on Saturday, September 20, at 8:00 pm, is a 45-minute, four-movement adventure and Carey’s longest composition to date. It is a vehicle ...

2

Recording

Kabocha Records To Release "Duocracy," Duo Album By Trumpeter Ian Carey And Pianist Ben Stolorow

Kabocha Records To Release "Duocracy," Duo Album By Trumpeter Ian Carey And Pianist Ben Stolorow

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

In the musical realm of Duocracy, the new CD by trumpeter Ian Carey and pianist Ben Stolorow, “two” rules. Mainstays on the Bay Area jazz scene, Carey and Stolorow have released highly regarded albums as leaders but found their way to the duo format after several satisfying gigs together last year. They chose to capture their singular improvisational ensemble on record, and Carey’s Kabocha label will release the inventive results as Duocracy on February 25. “It’s super-naked and that was ...

1

Recording

"Roads & Codes," By Ian Carey Quintet+1, To Be Released By Kabocha Records Feb. 19

"Roads & Codes," By Ian Carey Quintet+1, To Be Released By Kabocha Records Feb. 19

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

For the last decade, Bay Area trumpeter/composer Ian Carey has been developing his singular, post-bop-inflected music with a stable quintet of formidable improvisers, documented in the CDs Sink/Swim (2005) and Contextualizin’ (2010). In recent years Carey has wanted to explore more complex writing, and move further away from head-solo-head conventions. The result is Roads & Codes, Carey’s most ambitious and fully realized recording to date, which will be released February 19 by his Kabocha Records label. Recorded in an 11-hour, ...

173

Recording

Ian Carey Quintet to Release Second CD, "Contextualizin'," on Kabocha Records Feb. 16

Ian Carey Quintet to Release Second CD, "Contextualizin'," on Kabocha Records Feb. 16

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

Ian Carey's 2006 debut, SINK/SWIM, drew some critical attention to the Oakland-based trumpeter's original music and forward-thinking quintet, but his new recording, Contextualizin', is sure to turn heads in the direction of this gifted jazz trumpeter/composer. The new CD will be released by Carey's Kabocha Records imprint on February 16. “Sometime when I was in my twenties," says Carey, now 35, “I realized that there are so many great, amazing players out there that the context in which I do ...

"I dig Ian Carey. He's a trumpeter with a clean, clear sound who understands that there are listeners at the other end of recordings. On his new album, you hear Ian's tender sound on the horn and his passion for harmony. Deep down, Ian's a romantic traditionalist, and his reverence for velvet simplicity and heart-touching tones is evident. When the music on this album hits your ear, you want to hear more. It's a strange sensation. All of the songs on the CD except one (Just Friends) were composed by Ian, and all clearly were carefully thought through to maximize warmth and gentle urgency

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Primary Instrument

Trumpet

Location

San Francisco

Willing to teach

Beginner to advanced

Credentials/Background

Ian Carey has been a private music instructor for over twenty years, and has been a visiting instructor at Stanford University and The Jazzschool at California Jazz Conservatory. He is currently accepting students of all ages and levels for lessons in the following areas: TRUMPET, including jazz or classical focus. Ian's background includes studies with noted trumpet performers and educators including Vincent Penzarella (of the New York Philharmonic), the late Laurie Frink (New York trumpet guru and student of the legendary Carmine Caruso), John McNeil (author of The Art of Jazz Trumpet andFlexus), Jay Rizzetto (of the San Francisco Ballet and Opera), Larry Engstrom (of the Reno Philharmonic) as well as noted jazz performers Cecil Bridgewater (of the Max Roach Quintet, Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie), Tom Peron (Jessica Williams, Peron/Spangler Quintet), and Charles Tolliver (Jackie McLean, McCoy Tyner)

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Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Strange Arts

Slow And Steady Records
2024

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Interview Music: A...

Kabocha Records
2016

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Duocracy

Kobocha Records
2014

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Roads & Codes

Kabocha Records
2013

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Contextualizin'

Kabocha Records
2010

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Contextualizin'

From: Contextualizin'
By Ian Carey

Thirteen

From: Sink/Swim
By Ian Carey

Videos

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