Help Release Our New Album, “Interview Music”

Friends, Family, Fans & Supporters:

It’s been a while since my last update! A lot has gone on, including a very busy musical time (including performances with my new band IJKL, Sam Bevan and his quintet, and Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz project), followed by a not-very-busy musical time (while I recuperate from handing off a kidney to my dad, which is surprisingly not something they like you to play trumpet right after doing).

But today I wanted to​ tell you about my new album Interview Music: A Suite for Quintet+1, which I’m hoping to release April 2016, with your help. It’s been in the works for over two years, and we’re in the home stretch of the process, which I’m really excited about. The centerpiece of the album is a four-part, hourlong suite which is a culmination of over a decade of growth with an amazing group of musicians–Adam Shulman, Fred Randolph, Jon Arkin, Kasey Knudsen, and Sheldon Brown.

And now we’re asking for your help to make it possible for us to make it down the last mile and to a finished CD we can release to the world. We’ve come a long way–through composing, rehearsing, premiering, recording, and mixing–but we still have some very important expenses remaining, so we’re launching a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo (one of the most trusted crowdfunding sites on the planet) to help raise funds to make it through this last mile of the production process.  (These are of course expenses which in the good old days would’ve been fronted by a record label, but that is some spilt milk that’s definitely not worth crying over.) (Just kidding, I cry over it all the time.)

Of course we’re not just asking for a handout–we offer perks for contributors at many levels, ranging from digital downloads for $10, to CDs for $15, up to posters, signed copies of the original score, concert tickets, and even producer credit. Any amount you’re able to contribute, even if it’s just preordering the CD, would be very helpful and appreciated.

So please visit our campaign page at to learn more about the campaign, the band, and the music. And please feel tell anyone you think might be interested in the project, or share on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks very much for your support!


IJKL at The Monday Make Out, Sept. 7

Hello Folks,

I wanted to let you know about a show coming up this Monday night which I’m excited about–I’m going to be debuting a brand new project at the Monday Make Out music series at the Make Out Room in the Mission, which has been a great showcase for creative and experimental music for years.

ijklBased on a shared love of free jazz and group improvisation, IJKL brings together my long-time collaborators alto saxophonist Kasey Knudsen and drummer Jon Arkin, along with acclaimed bassist and composer Lisa Mezzacappa (“one of the most imaginative figures on the Bay Area creative jazz scene” —San Jose Mercury News) in this adventurous new quartet.

The group is dedicated to performing a new book of compositions by me, inspired by classic and current legends of free improvisation including Ornette Coleman, Anthony Braxton, John Carter, Jimmy Giuffre and others.

We’re going to be playing the third and final set of the night (probably starting around 10pm) and will be preceded by Sound Etiquette (Aaron Levin, Nick Obando and Eli Wallace) and Past-Present-Future (Myles Boisen, John Hanes and Lisa Mezzacappa).

And there’s no cover! Hope to see you there.

WHAT: The Monday Make Out, with IJKL (Kasey Knudsen, alto saxophone; Jon Arkin, drums; Lisa Mezzacappa, bass; and Ian Carey, trumpet), plus Sound Etiquette and Past-Present-Future
WHEN: Monday, September 7, 8:30p
WHERE: The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco

IC Quintet+1 at the Presidio, Duocracy Workshop, Fred Randolph Quintet

Hi folks,

I wanted to let you know about some exciting events coming up:

First, next Friday July 31, I am very happy to be bringing my Quintet+1 to the Presidio Sessions series, which is presented by San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music at the Presidio Officers’ Club. The room is beautiful, parking is easy, and best of all, it’s FREE! (However, seating is limited and these shows have been popular, so they suggest you reserve a spot through Eventbrite.) As a bonus, I’m very excited to have as a special guest, from New York, the amazing flutist and saxophonist (and alumnus of the Quintet+1) Evan Francis. We’ll be playing music from our albums Roads & Codes (“4-1/2 stars” –Downbeat) and my new suite Interview Music (coming to a CD near you in 2016). The series encourages a casual atmosphere and interaction with the musicians (but no stage diving!).

WHAT: The Ian Carey Quintet+1 featuring Evan Francis
WHO: Jon Arkin, drums; Sheldon Brown, bass clarinet & saxophone; Ian Carey, trumpet; Fred Randolph, bass; Adam Shulman, piano; and Evan Francis, flute & saxophone
WHEN: Friday, July 31, 6:00pm-7:30pm
WHERE: The Presidio Officers’ Club, 50 Moraga Ave, San Francisco
HOW MUCH: Free! (Reserve a seat here)

The following Sunday (8/2), my partner-in-crime Ben Stolorow and I will be presenting a two-hour workshop for musicians at the California Jazz Conservatory on the Art of the Duo. Drawing from the techniques presented on our 2014 album Duocracy, we will demonstrate the range of possibilities of the duo, outlining the traditional roles of each instrument as well as showing the potential for creating more abstract contrapuntal textures. Special emphasis placed on the importance of rhythmic feel in performing in this fun yet challenging format. Open to all instrumentalists and improvising vocalists.

WHAT: The Art of the Duo: a Workshop
WHO: Ian Carey, trumpet; Ben Stolorow, piano
WHEN: Sunday, August 2, 2pm-4pm
WHERE: California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St, Berkeley
HOW MUCH: $30 advance, $45 day of workshop

Finally, after the duo workshop, I will be heading to Portola Vineyards for an evening performance with the great bassist Fred Randoph and his Quintet as part of their summer jazz series. We’ll be playing music from Fred’s great new album Song Without Singing.

WHAT: Portola Vineyards Summer Jazz Presents the Fred Randolph Quintet
WHO: Fred Randolph, bass; Greg Wyser-Pratt, drums; Matt Clark, piano; Rob Roth, tenor saxophone; Ian Carey, trumpet
WHEN: Sunday, August 2, 5:30pm-7pm
WHERE: Portola Vineyards, 850 Los Trancos Rd, Portola Valley, CA
HOW MUCH: $15 adult, $4 child

Thanks, and hope to see you at one or more of these events!

Upcoming Shows: Cafe Stritch, Make Out Room, Circus Bella

Hi folks, this is just a quick update to tell you about a few upcoming shows I’m excited about.

This Thursday (7/2) I’ll be joining local legendary pianist, composer, author and poet Don Alberts and his Renaissance Band for my first appearance at Cafe Stritch, San Jose’s very happening Rahsaan Roland Kirk-inspired jazz spot. We’ll be playing Don’s swinging original tunes.

What: Don Alberts Renaissance Band
Who: Don Alberts, piano; Stu Pilorz, trombone; Ron Marabuto, drums; Ian Carey, trumpet; Larry Epstein, bass
When: Thursday, July 2, 8:30p-12am
Where: Cafe Stritch, 374 S 1st St, San Jose CA 95113

Monday, I’m very excited to be playing for the first time with one of my favorite Bay Area creative music aggregations: the Nathan Clevenger Group, which plays exclusively Nathan’s beautiful and thorny compositions, as part of the venerable Monday Make Out series. (I will be shedding this relentlessly unpredictable music until about 8 minutes before the gig in the hope of not crashing and burning in such heavy company.) Also on the bill are two additional bands featuring plenty of other big-time local improvisers!

What: The Nathan Clevenger Group
Who: Marcus Stephens: clarinet, tenor sax; Ian Carey: trumpet; Rachel Condry: bass clarinet, clarinet; Sam Bevan: bass; Jon Arkin: drums; Jason Levis: drums, percussion; Nathan Clevenger: guitar and compositions
When: Monday, July 6, 10ish? (The show starts at 8:30 and we play the third set, following sets by EGW Trio and Ryan Pate.)
Where: The Make Out Room, 3225 22nd Street (& Mission), San Francisco
How Much: FREE!

Finally, I am fortunate to perform once again with Circus Bella, the Bay Area’s independent circus, as they begin their 2015 Circus in the Parks series–all shows are free, with live music by Rob Reich and the Circus Bella All-Star Band (Reich, accordion; Ralph Carney, saxophone; Ian Carey, trumpet; Greg Stephens, trombone; Jonathan Seiberlich, sousaphone; and Michael Pinkham, drums). Upcoming shows are:

July 3rd, 6pm: Mosswood Park, Oakland
July 10th, 6pm: Studio One Arts Center, Oakland
July 11th, 2pm: Hamilton Playground, San Francisco
July 12th, 2pm: Union Square, San Francisco
July 19th, 12pm: Dimond Park, Oakland
July 25th, 2pm: Pickleweed Park, San Rafael
July 26th, 2pm: Herons Head Park, San Francisco
August 1st, 1pm: Mission Bay, San Francisco


P.S. my new graphic design site is now live—please have a look and let me know if you have any design needs!

Ian Carey Quintet+1 at The Sound Room, Saturday, May 16

Soundroom_051615_flyerHello Fans of Interesting Music!

I’m excited to invite you to a very special performance next Saturday: my Quintet+1, which has done me the great honor of digging deeply into my music for the past decade, will be returning to The Sound Room in Oakland’s Downtown arts district for our first show of 2015. 

The Sound Room, a labor of love by proprietors Robert Bradsby and Karen Van Leuven, has made a significant positive contribution to the downtown district and the East Bay jazz scene, and is one of our favorite places to play. (It’s also very close to a variety of happening restaurants and BART.)

The Quintet+1 (Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone, Adam Shulman on piano, Fred Randolph on bass, Jon Arkin on drums, Sheldon Brown on bass clarinet, flute, and saxophone, and myself on trumpet and flugelhorn) will be playing original music from our previous 3 albums (2006’s Sink/Swim, 2010’s Contextualizin’, and 2013’s Roads & Codes), plus selections from my new 4-part suite “‘Interview Music,” as well as arrangements of music by some of my favorite composers like Charles Ives and Jimmy Giuffre. We are fresh out of the studio (recording our next album, due in the fall) and the band is sounding great—judge for yourself in the video below

We hope very much to see you next week!

WHAT: The Ian Carey Quintet+1
WHERE: The Sound Room, 2147 Broadway, Oakland
WHEN: Saturday, May 16, 8pm (doors open at 7)
TICKETS: $15 (available here or at the door)


Spring Update: Quintet+1 at the Sound Room, Bryan Bowman Album, Big Bands

Hello Folks! I wanted to let you know about some exciting musical stuff coming up that I’m glad to be a part of.

studioFirstly, the Ian Carey Quintet+1‘s next album, Interview Music, was recorded this past weekend at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley (in the same room as “Don’t Stop Believin'”, if you can believe that). The band put a herculean effort into a very long day (and my pain in the @#$ compositions) and I couldn’t be happier with the result. The album is on track for a fall release.

Speaking of which: the Quintet+1 (Kasey Knudsen, alto sax; Sheldon Brown, bass clarinet; Adam Shulman, piano; Fred Randolph, bass; Jon Arkin, drums; and me) will be returning next month to the great downtown Oakland venue The Sound Room. The show is on Saturday, May 16th, so please save the date for what should be a very exciting show.

I’m also excited about a new album I was fortunate to record with the great local drummer and composer Bryan Bowman and his quintet (with saxophonist Bob Kenmotsu, pianist Matt Clark and bassist Doug Miller). The album, titled Like Minds, features many of Bryan’s beautiful compositions. The CD release show for the album will be held Thursday, May 7 at 8pm at Bird & Beckett Books in SF.

I’ve also been playing quite a bit with two very interesting big bands, both dedicated to original arrangements–which is especially great since just a couple of years ago the Bay Area seemed to be becoming a big band dead zone.  The first is guitarist/composer Tony Corman’s Morchestra, which will be playing this Friday, April 24 at 8pm at the California Jazz Conservatory (aka the Jazzschool) in Berkeley. In addition to Tony’s beautiful charts, we’ll be joined by a special guest vocalist, the great Ed Reed.

The other big band is the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra (led by trumpeter/composer Erik Jekabson), which features a who’s who of local heavies and only performs arrangements written by members of the group. I was lucky enough to play on several tunes of their upcoming album Cheap Rent and have been playing fairly often with the group (and they’ve been gracious enough to play one of my compositions). I’ll be joining them at their regular (free!) Sunday night residency at Doc’s Lab in SF on the following Sundays: 4/26, 5/3. 5/24, 6/7, 6/21 (all shows from 6:30-9pm).

And later on in the summer, I’m excited to be playing for the first time with one of my compositional and bandleading idols, Nathan Clevenger, so stay tuned for details.

Finally, I’m planning on expanding both my musical instruction and graphic design business in the next year, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you know someone interested in trumpet, improvisation, or composition lessons, or who is in need of graphic design assistance.

Thanks and hope to see you at a show soon!

Duocracy Live in Tiburon, 3/1

ben_ian_3Hi folks, I wanted to let you know about a show coming up I’m very excited about–my partner in crime Ben Stolorow and I will be returning to the hills of Tiburon for a Sunday afternoon appearance at the historic Old St. Hilary’s, a former church-turned-beautiful performance venue.

This will be our second appearance at Old St. Hilary’s–our show there last spring was one of my favorite Duocracy shows so far. We’ll be offering our unique take on favorites and forgotten gems from the American Popular Songbook, along with some jazz rarities and possibly even an original or two.  Hope to see you there, and please pass on the word to any North Bay friends!

WHAT: Duocracy (Ben Stolorow, piano; Ian Carey, trumpet)
WHEN: Sunday, March 1, 4:00p
WHERE: Old St. Hilary’s, Tiburon
TICKETS: $20/$15, available here

Spring Update: Three Sundays of Music

Hi folks, happy spring to you all! I’ve been keeping busy, recording what I think will be a great album with drummer and composer Bryan Bowman at the legendary Fantasy Studios, getting ready for my own recording there with the Quintet+1 in April, and playing as much as possible! I wanted to let you know about a few shows coming up which I think you’d enjoy…

First up is a show this Sunday at Rose Pistola in North Beach–pianist Ben Stolorow and I will be joined by bassist Doug Miller for an evening of standards, originals, and jazz rarities.

WHO: Ian Carey, Ben Stolorow, & Doug Miller
WHERE: Rose Pistola, 532 Columbus Ave, SF
WHEN: Sunday, February 15, 8-10:30pm
HOW MUCH: no cover!

The following Sunday, I’ll be back in North Beach playing with the great new big band The Electric Squeezebox Orchestra (formerly the Bay Area Composers’ Big Band, but it’s still almost entirely original music!), led by the great trumpeter Erik Jekabsen and featuring some of the Bay Area’s finest. This is turning into quite a hang, so don’t miss it! (With a little luck I may even have an arrangement to premiere).

WHAT: The Electric Squeezebox Orchestra
WHERE: Doc’s Lab, 124 Columbus Ave, SF
WHEN: Sunday, February 22, 6:30p
HOW MUCH: no cover!

And the Sunday after that, Ben Stolorow and I will bring our duo project Duocracy back to the landmark Old St. Hilary’s (on the hill above beautiful Tiburon) for a very special show featuring our unique take on rarely-heard gems from the American Popular Songbook. This is a great, intimate place to hear music and was one of my favorite shows last year.

WHAT: Duocracy (Ian Carey & Ben Stolorow)
WHERE: Old St. Hilary’s, 201 Esperanza St., Tiburon
WHEN: Sunday, March 1, 4pm
HOW MUCH: $20/$15 (available here)

Hope to see you there!


April 24: Tony Corman’s Morchestra featuring Ed Reed, CJC
May 7: Bryan Bowman Quintet, Bird & Beckett
May 16: Ian Carey Quintet+1, The Sound Room


Save the Date: ‘Interview Music’ Live Recording Nov. 14 in Berkeley!

Hello folks,

I wanted to give you a heads-up about a show next month that I’m very excited about. My group will be giving only the second performance of my new 4-part suite Interview Music (made possible by a grant from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music). The show will also be our first appearance at the historic Hillside Club, a beautiful Maybeck-designed hall at the foot of the Berkeley Hills.

I wrote the piece over the past year and a half, specifically for my Quintet+1 (Adam Shulman on piano, Fred Randolph on bass, Sheldon Brown on bass clarinet, Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone, Jon Arkin on drums, and myself on trumpet). It’s close to an hour long and contains the most involved writing I’ve ever done. You can read more about it, including what the title means, here.

More importantly, we’re going to be doing a recording of the performance which will hopefully be released as our fourth album next year–and you have the opportunity to say, in the words of Pee Wee Marquette, “that’s my hand on that record!” This is also likely to be your last chance to hear Interview Music in its entirety for quite a while. We’ll also be playing other music from our book including music from our album Roads & Codes (“★★★★½ ” – DownBeat).

The show will be Friday, November 14 at 8pm, and the Hillside Club is located at 2286 Cedar St. in Berkeley. Hope to see you!


I also wanted to let you know about two exciting shows this weekend–the first is Friday 10/24 at 9pm. It’s the debut of a brand-new 17-piece big band, the Morchestra, which is led by guitarist/composer/arranger extraordinaire Tony Corman, and features an embarrassment of local riches in the band. We’re going to be playing at the newly-relocated Birdland Jazzista Social Club in Oakland and it should be a great time. More info here.

Saturday night (10/25), I’m excited to be getting together with my friends Fred Randolph, Adam Shulman, and Bryan Bowman for some good old bar jazz at the Albatross Pub in Berkeley from 9:30-12:30. Just a $3 cover. Come on by and see if we can be louder than the crowd!

‘DUOCRACY’ at Bird & Beckett, 10/5

Hi folks, I wanted to let you know about an exciting show coming up this Sunday at one of my favorite venues. Duocracy, a duo project with my friend the great pianist Ben Stolorow, with whom I recorded an album of the same name (“a lively trip down a straightahead path, deriving a refreshing joy from the familiar sights” —DownBeat) will be doing an intimate show this Sunday afternoon at Bird & Beckett, a long-time institution in San Francisco’s almost unbearably cute Glen Park neighborhood.

Duocracy focuses on classic tunes from the rare to the familiar, ranging from Gershwin and Gordon Jenkins to Thelonious Monk and Henry Mancini, plus occasional original tunes by Ben and myself. But within that repertoire, we aim for interplay, unpredictability, and surprise. (You can see us performing an old favorite below.)

So please come on by if you’re in the neighborhood (and pick up some books and records to support this great independent local business while you’re at it)!

WHAT: Duocracy (Ian Carey, trumpet & Ben Stolorow, piano)
WHEN: Sunday, October 5, 4:30-6:30p
WHERE: Bird & Beckett Books & Records, 653 Chenery St., San Francisco
HOW MUCH: $10 (suggested donation)


Announcements and thoughts from a Bay Area trumpeter and composer