Ian Carey is a San Francisco Bay Area–based jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger, and educator who “asks deep musical questions and comes up with compelling answers” (Bill Kirchner, composer/author).
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 (commissioned by Chamber Music America's New Jazz Works program); 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); 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 and New York City (where he attended the New School and lived for seven years, studying with jazz legends including Reggie Workman, Billy Harper, and Andrew Cyrille), Ian has lived and worked in the Bay Area since 2001, performing with local bandleaders including Bryan Bowman, Nathan Clevenger, Lewis Jordan, Mark Levine, James Mahone, Anne Sajdera, Adam Shulman, and Suzanna Smith; and in ensembles including Anthony Brown's Asian-American Orchestra, the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, the Circus Bella All-Star Band, the Morchestra, the duo B. Experimental Band, and the North Berkeley Jazz Quintet, 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.
Ian is an experienced music educator who has been a visiting instructor at Stanford University, California Jazz Conservatory, Santa Rosa Junior College, 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 article “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.”