Ian Carey is a trumpeter, composer, arranger, bandleader and instructor, who “asks deep musical questions and comes up with compelling answers” (Bill Kirchner, editor, The Oxford Companion to Jazz). Born in 1974 in Binghamton, New York, Carey grew up in a house suffused with music and art. Ian’s first musical outlet was singing in a church choir, where his exposure to a brass quintet turned his eye to the trumpet. He started on cornet and French horn in elementary school, but switched back to trumpet for good in high school after his family relocated to Folsom, California (site of a now-famous high school jazz program). He studied trumpet with Sacramento jazz icon Tom Peron and spent many evenings soaking up the sounds of local musicians including Jessica Williams, Joe Gilman, Jimmy Robinson, and Bud Spangler. Two years of classical trumpet studies at the University of Nevada in Reno gave Carey the opportunity to play with visiting artists Eddie Daniels and Ernie Watts, and with the Reno Philharmonic. Transferring to The New School in New York City in 1994, he studied trumpet with Cecil Bridgewater, Vincent Penzarella, Charles Tolliver, Laurie Frink, and John McNeil, and composition with Bill Kirchner, Henry Martin, and Maria Schneider. He honed his improvisational chops in small group classes with Joanne Brackeen, Andrew Cyrille, Billy Harper, and Reggie Workman, and during the next seven years he had opportunities to perform with a diverse group of players including Ravi Coltrane, Ted Curson, Eddie Bert, Gregoire Maret, Loren Schoenberg, Rory Stuart, Marion Brown, Ali Jackson, Aaron Alexander, and Eugene Osborne Smith. After graduating from the New School with a B.A. in Jazz and Contemporary Music, he spent five years with a night job as a proofreader, which left him little time for to sit in at jam sessions and gather with colleagues, let alone pursue gigs. “It was incredibly stimulating, but you end up having to take something totally unrelated to music, and that got very frustrating,” Carey recalls. When a friend hooked him up with a sublet in San Francisco in 2001, he was ready for a break from the Gotham grind. “I felt right away that this was a better situation,” Carey says. “I met good players right away and started playing. And I lucked into some design work that was much more creative than what I’d been doing in New York.” Quickly recognized as a formidable improviser, Carey performed around the Bay Area with top-notch ensembles like the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, guitarist Mike Irwin Johnson’s 8 Legged Monster, Adam Theis’ Realistic Orchestra, Matt Small's Crushing Spiral Ensemble, accordionist Rob Reich’s Circus Bella All-Star Band, and shared the stage with vocalist Betty Fu, pianists Ben Stolorow and the late B.J.