Category Archives: Gigs

New Year’s Update: Gigs + Workshops: Berkeley, SF, Vallejo, Healdsburg

Hello folks! It’s been a stressful couple of months, but I’ve been trying to Be Like Bob (above) and channel it all into the music. The end of 2016 brought some gratifying mentions of my album Interview Music in year-end top ten lists, including The Mercury News (“an exquisite balance between [Carey’s] ambitious compositional vision and his design to showcase his superlative cast of improvisers”) and Bird is the Worm. And I feel fortunate to have some exciting events coming up, including…

Bryan Bowman Quintet in Berkeley & Vallejo

This introspective group plays the swinging, forward-thinking music of drummer and composer Bryan Bowman (you can listen to a track from our 2015 album Like Minds here), and features some of my favorite players: Bob Kenmotsu on tenor sax, Matt Clark on piano (and Luke Westbrook on guitar), and John Wiitala (and Dan Feiszli) on bass. We’re going to be playing twice this month: on Saturday, January 14 at 8pm we’ll be at the great new Berkeley venue The Back Room ($15); and on Sunday January 15 at 5pm we’re at the historic Empress Theater in Vallejo ($20), sponsored by the Vallejo Jazz Society.

Other local shows this month: Don Alberts’ Renaissance Band at 7 Mile House in Brisbane on Tuesday January 24, and Tony Corman’s Morchestra with Nic Bearde at Bach Dancing & Dynamite in Half Moon Bay on Sunday January 29th at 4:30p.

Jazzschool Workshops: Giant Steps & More

For those of you who are students of the music (of any age): I’m offering two workshops at California Jazz Conservatory’s Jazzschool Community Music Program’s spring session:

Stepping Into Giant Steps (January 21): A two-hour deep dive into one of John Coltrane’s most famous and challenging compositions, geared towards taking the fear out of those gnarly chord changes.

Modern Improvisation: Triad Pair Scales (February 18): Want to learn to navigate familiar chord changes in an interesting new way? This workshop takes a deep dive into the technique of creating and using versatile six-note scales by combining pairs of triads.

And just a reminder: I’m also available for private lessons!

Coming in February: IC Quintet+1 in Berkeley & Healdsburg, Takoyaki 4 in SF

I’m thrilled to have two opportunities to play with my Quintet+1 (Adam Shulman, Sheldon Brown, Kasey Knudsen, Fred Randolph, plus special guests Hamir Atwal and Steven Lugerner) next month:

  • On February 17, we’ll be at The Back Room in Berkeley for an event sponsored by the great local organization Jazz in the Neighborhood.
  • On February 23, we’ll be playing at the after-party for “Jazz on the Menu” at Costeaux in Healdsburg, presented by the Healdsburg Jazz Festival.

I’m also looking forward to playing with my organ-based group Takoyaki 4 (Adam Shulman on organ, Hamir Atwal on drums, and special guest James Mahone on tenor) at local institution Bird & Beckett Books in San Francisco on February 25.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you soon!

September Update: Nathan Clevenger Group, Ian Carey Quintet+1 at SFMusic Day, ESO

Hello folks! Here’s an update about some upcoming performances I’m really excited about. Hope to see you at some of them!

Nathan Clevenger Group in Oakland
This Thursday night (9/1) in Oakland, I’m thrilled to be playing again with one of my favorite bands—the Nathan Clevenger Group (“includes many of the scene’s leading figures, but he’s created a sound that stands out from the crowd… he makes brilliant use of the many colors at his disposal.” –Andrew Gilbert, KQED). In addition to Nathan’s guitar and compositions, this version of the group includes Kasey Knudsen on alto sax, Rachel Condry on bass clarinet, Jason Levis on drums, Lisa Mezzacappa on bass, Tim DeCillis on vibraphone, and myself on trumpet. The show is at Octopus Literary Salon in downtown Oakland, a cozy cafe that’s been putting on some extraordinarily happening shows. (The show starts at 8, and the opening act is Bristle, another astounding chamber music-meets-free improvisation unit.) More info about the show here.

Ian Carey Quintet+1 at SFMusic Day
For the past few years, the great local arts organization San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music has been presenting an annual day full of free chamber music at the SF Veterans Building, and this year, on Sunday, September 25, I’m very happy to bringing my Quintet+1 to participate (along with a cast of hundreds including heavy hitters like Kronos, Rova, Myra Melford & Ben Goldberg, and many more). We’ll be playing a half-hour set at 3:30 in the Education Studio. More info here.

Electric Squeezebox Orchestra Meets Brazil!
I’m also excited to be playing several times this month with the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra, SF’s great original big band, back at Doc’s Lab in North Beach after their summer break. Sunday, September 4, I’ll be performing with the band, playing their usual (but unusual!) assortment of music all written by members of the band (including me!). The following Sunday, Sept. 11, we’ll be joined by special guest the Brazilian saxophonist Spok (aka Inaldo Cavalcante de Albuquerque), performing the music called Frevo, which he has pioneered in Northern Brazil. More about this show here.

Also…
A reminder that my new album, Interview Music (“an incredible piece of music… a superlative work.” —Brad Stone, The Creative Source, Soul and Jazz Radio), is now available on CDBaby, Amazon, and iTunes.

And just because, here’s a video of an improvised duet that my friend the great trumpeter Darren Johnston and I recorded before a gig last month at opposite ends of the huge Festival Pavilion building at Fort Mason (with its 8-second reverberation). Enjoy!

Improvised Duet, Darren Johnston & Ian Carey, trumpets. Festival Pavilion, Ft. Mason, San Francisco, August 21, 2016.

June News: Have You Heard, AAO Plays Roach, Jazzschool Classes

Hello folks! I’m just writing to tell you about a few musical things I’ve got going on in the near future.

Have You Heard?

This Monday night I am very happy to be featured on one of my favorite radio shows, Have You Heard?, hosted by the great saxophonist Patrick Wolff. Each week Patrick does a deep dive on the work of a single artist (usually someone on the less well-known side) in a way rarely heard on this coast. For this show we’ll be hearing tunes from several of my albums (plus an unreleased track of a work for big band) as well as having some conversation about the jazz world in my usual curmudgeonly fashion. You can hear the show Monday at 9pmon KCSM; the show will be also be available for one week after at the Have You Heard? website.

Jazzschool Classes

I’m happy to be offering three classes this summer as part of California Jazz Conservatory’s Jazzschool summer session, geared toward intermediate musicians of all ages:

  • Demystifying Coltrane Changes: A deep look into how to take the fear out of learning daunting tunes like Giant Steps and Countdown, including theory, listening and in-class playing. More info here.
  • Counterpoint & Beyond: An introduction to one of my favorite compositional toolboxes, with an eye toward real-world contemporary and jazz applications. More info here.
  • Modernize Your Language: A look at three ways to take the next step beyond bebop and mode-based improvising, with an eye on integrating with the student’s existing language, through theoretical discussion and in-class playing. More here.

If you or someone you know might be interested, please check out the links above to find out more and register. Class space is limited! (And a reminder: I’m also accepting new private students in trumpet, improvisation, composition, ear training and harmony.)

Asian-American Orchestra Performances

This weekend and next, I’ll be making my debut with percussionist & composerAnthony Brown’s Asian-American Orchestra. The group consists of an eclectic (in a good way!) mix of western and eastern instruments including shakuhachi and sheng (Chinese mouth organ) as well as a burning jazz ensemble. For these performances we’ll be joined by the Ojalá Batá percussion ensemble, plus poet Genny Lim and vocalist Amikaelya Proudfoot Gaston. We’ll be performing original works by Brown as well as a new realization of Max Roach’s classic Freedom Now Suite (you all know I don’t do plain old tributes).

We’ll be doing two performances this Sunday June 5 at the San Francisco International Arts Festival at Fort Mason, followed by a show on Saturday June 18 at Musically Minded Academy in Oakland. Hope to see you!

Also…

I’m happy to announce that I am among the lucky crop of grant recipients for San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music’s 2016 Musical Grant Program, to compose a set of pieces for my brand new 7-piece ensemble Wood/Metal/Plastic, premiering next year. And just a reminder that my new album Interview Music (“complex chamber music with solo space” – Doug Ramsey, Rifftides) is now available on CDBaby, Amazon, and iTunes. You can hear a free track from the album below. Thanks!

Ian Carey Quintet+1 at Chez Hanny, SF, 4/24 + Bonus Audio

Hello folks! If you missed our CD release show last week, you have another chance to see this band and hear music from our new CD on Kabocha Records, Interview Music. (The title is sort of an inside joke about the jazz scene. More on that here.)

This Sunday (4/24) at 4pm we are thrilled to be returning to Chez Hanny in San Francisco’s Portola District, an intimate “jazz salon” that has been presenting unique concerts for over a decade.

The band will feature my longtime partners in crime Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone, Sheldon Brown on bass clarinet and tenor saxophone, Jon Arkin on drums, Fred Randolph on bass, Adam Shulman on piano, and myself on trumpet. We will be playing all the music from the new album (including my four-part title suite) plus new expanded arrangements of music from our previous albums Sink/Swim, Contextualizin’, and Roads & Codes (“★★★★½” —DownBeat).

Chez Hanny (click link for more info) is located at 1300 Silver Avenue, San Francisco. $20 donation is requested. Email reservations are strongly recommended (see previous link) as seating is first come, first served (doors open at 3:30pm). I hope to see you there!

BUT: If you can’t make it and still want to hear Interview Music, the album is now available on CDBaby , Amazon, and iTunes . And you can hear a full track from the suite here:

ALSO: A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be invited to do an interview with Alisa Clancy on our great local jazz station KCSM to talk about the album. You can listen to the interview below.

ALSO ALSO: I’m going to be playing this Saturday afternoon with the great drummer and composer Bryan Bowman and his quintet at a new house concert venue in the East Bay. The show is at 4pm at 1034 Talbot Ave. in Albany, $10 donation requested. Thanks!

CD Release Show for “Interview Music” Saturday, April 9 in Oakland!

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Hello Folks! It’s been a loooooong road (including planning, composing, rehearsal, more composing, tweaking, more rehearsal, premiering, more tweaking, more performing, more rehearsing, recording, listening, mixing, more listening, more mixing, mastering, designing, running a crowdfunding campaign, unpacking, promoting, mailing, and more rehearsing), but the destination is finally in sight.

I am of course talking about the CD release show for Interview Music, the fourth album from the Ian Carey Quintet+1, happening Saturday, April 9 at 8pm, at one of our favorite venues, The Sound Room, in the bustling downtown Oakland arts district.

The show will feature all the music from the album (though not necessarily in order), plus new expanded arrangements of music from our previous albums Sink/Swim (2006), Contextualizin’ (2010), and 2013’s Roads & Codes (“★★★★½” —Downbeat), performed by my longtime partners in crime Adam Shulman (piano), Kasey Knudsen (alto saxophone), Sheldon Brown (bass clarinet & tenor saxophone), Fred Randolph (bass) and Jon Arkin (drums).

Tickets will be $15 advance (available here) or $20 at the door, but will include a free copy of the CD with admission! And rest assured that the great majority of your dough goes directly to this hard-working band (as The Sound Room is one of the most musician-friendly venues around).

Also: on Thursday April 7 at 9am, I will be joining Alisa Clancy at our local treasure KCSM Jazz 91 FM to talk about the album (and play some selections), so please tune in if you’re up!

Finally, here’s some more about the album:

Hope to see you at the show!

IJKL at Studio Grand 3/14; “Interview Music” CD Release April 9

ijkl3

Hi folks, I wanted to let you know about an exciting show happening this Monday, and encourage you to “save the date” for our CD release show next month.

First: This Monday March 13 my new band IJKL will be playing at Studio Grand (just down the block from the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland). I formed IJKL (Ian Carey on trumpet, Jon Arkin on drums, Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone, and Lisa Mezzacappa on bass) in order to explore the freer side of improvisation, and have written a new book of music inspired by some of my favorite musicians in that genre (including Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Giuffre, John Carter, and Cecil Taylor). It’s some of the most adventurous playing I’ve done in a while and I’m really looking forward to playing it with this great cast of characters.

We’re sharing the bill with Gold Age (featuring local creative music heavyweights Aram Shelton, Mark Clifford, Safa Shokrai, and Birtt Ciampa). The show starts at 9:45p (I know, it’s a late one) and we’ll play second (Probably around 10:45). Tickets are $5-15 sliding scale. Hope you
can make it!

Second: I wanted to give you a heads-up about the long-awaited CD release show for Interview Music, the new album from my Quintet+1, at The Sound Room in Oakland on Saturday April 9. It’s a project that has been in the works for several years and I’m thrilled to have a finished album ready to send out into the world. Stay tuned for more info as the date approaches!

‘Interview Music’ Coming April 2016!

Hi folks, I’m very excited to announce the release of the new album by my Quintet+1, Interview Music, this April. The centerpiece of the record is the 55-minute, four-movement title suite. The video below will tell you more about the album, the piece, and the outstanding band:

The album was made possible by the support of the generous donors to our crowdfunding campaign, to whom I am extremely grateful! Thanks also to San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music and the California Jazz Conservatory for their early support for the composition and premiere of this piece. (You can read an extended article about the album here. )

We’ll be doing two performances in the Bay Area to celebrate the album’s release–the official CD release show at Oakland’s great downtown venue The Sound Room on April 9th, and an intimate afternoon performance at Chez Hanny in San Francisco on April 24th. I hope you’re able to make it to one or both!

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
HOW MUCH: Free!

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

Thanks!

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