Category Archives: Press

Update + CD Press Release

Hi Folks, Happy New Year to you all! As you’ll see in the press release below, the Quintet’s new album hits radio & retail in just under a month, which I’m excited about. We still don’t have a venue for a CD release show (RIP Anna’s), but are following up on several leads, so you’ll be the first to know. In the meantime, here’s the official press release announcing the new record:

Ian Carey Quintet to Release Second CD, “Contextualizin’,” February 16

Band Led by Trumpeter/Composer Ian Carey also Includes Evan Francis, Adam Shulman, Fred Randolph, & Jon Arkin

January 21, 2010

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 what I’m doing is going to be how I differentiate myself, and for me that’s writing my own tunes and doing my own things within them.”

Carey’s striking compositions–and one standard, “Just Friends”–are performed by the tight group of improvisers with whom he recorded SINK/SWIM (also on Kabocha) and has frequently worked in Bay Area club settings for the last six years. Saxophonist and flutist Evan Francis is his fiery front-line partner; Adam Shulman switches between piano and Fender Rhodes (playing with “understated virtuosity,” in the leader’s words); bassist Fred Randolph and drummer Jon Arkin ground and propel the music.

In the CD notes, Carey describes his realization that “What I played would help shape how I played (and vice versa, as it turned out). A song could be a story in itself, or a vehicle to inspire improvisational storytelling. (And sometimes, when everything is happening just right, it can be both.)”

The dropped “g” in the CD’s title, Carey adds, “is a play on the high-concept, analytical stuff that people come up with to talk about their music.” But when it comes to the music itself, Carey “asks deep musical questions,” says composer/educator Bill Kirchner, “and comes up with compelling answers.”

Born and raised in a musical family in Binghamton, New York, Ian Carey moved with his family to Folsom, California (near Sacramento) in time for high school, where he was inspired to begin studying jazz trumpet seriously. He studied classical trumpet for two years at the University of Nevada in Reno (also performing with the Reno Philharmonic), then enrolled in the New School in New York City and earned a B.A. in Jazz and Contemporary Music.

At the New School Ian studied trumpet with Cecil Bridgewater, Vincent Penzarella, and Charles Tolliver and composition with Bill Kirchner and Maria Schneider, as well as taking small group classes with Joanne Brackeen, Andrew Cyrille, Billy Harper, and Reggie Workman. He also performed with the likes of Eddie Bert, Rory Stuart, and Ravi Coltrane, and at venues such as the Blue Note and Smalls. Carey led his own Brooklyn-based quartet for several years before moving to San Francisco in 2001.

In addition to leading the quintet heard on Contextualizin’, Carey has played around the Bay Area with the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, 8 Legged Monster, the Realistic Orchestra, vocalist Betty Fu, and pianists Ben Stolorow and the late B.J. Papa. His main focus, however, has been on composing and performing original music with the quintet. In his CD booklet notes, Carey recalls a meeting with the saxophonist Steve Lacy in which Lacy observed that the trumpet “is a discursive instrument — you know, it tells a story.” With those words in mind, Ian Carey aims to say something with his music. He aims to tell stories.

Media Contact: Terri Hinte

Jazzwax on Sink/Swim

My CD, Sink/Swim, received a nice mention this weekend on a newish jazz blog called Jazzwax:

Seventies spirit—Ian Carey, who plays trumpet and flugelhorn, sent along a CD he recorded in 2005. It has a rich, introspective 1970s feel—especially with Adam Shulman on the Fender Rhodes piano.

Carey, who knows his jazz history, plays a warm horn with a Freddie Hubbard feel and is backed by Evan Francis (saxophones), Shulman (electric piano), Fred Randolph (bass) and Jon Arkin (drums). Many of the compositions and arrangements are by Carey, and the CD includes tight interpretations of Wayne Shorter’s ESP and Herbie Nichols’ The Spinning Song.

Jazzwax is written by New York’s Marc Myers, and regularly features interesting thoughts on classic jazz (including a great series last week on the under-appreciated saxophonist Hal McKusick). I especially like that it reminds me of recordings I’d forgotten about, and supplements them with possibilities for further exploration. I don’t get to talk and think about classic records nearly as much as I did back in my school days, so it’s good to have a regular place to get back in the spirit.

(And incidentally, I’ll take being mentioned in a sentence with Freddie Hubbard any day.)

Thanks + Daily Planet Article

First of all, thanks to everyone who came out to last week’s shows. We had a great time performing at Anna’s in Berkeley—had a good crowd, sold some CDs, ate some carnitas tacos—which was only slightly marred by accidentally leaving our car in the garage past the midnight deadline. (No harm done, though—Linda heroically got up early and rode the BART over to retrieve it the next morning.)

We also enjoyed our Friday show at the Parc 55 in the city (those of you who made it out got to witness my debut on my recently-acquired vintage cornet—something you can tell your grandkids about, I’m sure). We were filling in for the excellent vocalist Betty Fu, who performs there on a weekly basis, and with any luck she may call on us again.

Saturday evening brought a performance at a wedding with the great Mitch Marcus and his big band, which featured the amazing spectacle of old ladies in their best formal finery dancing happily to a 7/4 funk groove (with a 15/8 feel superimposed). God bless San Francisco.

Finally, I wanted to mention that Justin Freitas of the Berkeley Daily Planet wrote an in-depth profile of myself and the quintet, which appeared in last week’s edition of the paper. Here’s a sample:

When Oakland-based jazz trumpeter Ian Carey was about 14 years old, he experienced something of a revelation. While he was growing up in upstate New York, his family attended church regularly, all singing in the choir. But when they moved back to Folsom, Calif., just east of Sacramento, Carey’s father searched the area in vain for a suitable church with a strong choir. Churches were plenty but choirs were not, and when he couldn’t find one he liked the family’s church-going days were over.

“I had always thought that we were a religious family,” Carey says, “but once we got to California I found out we were really a musical family.”

Thus one muse was replaced with another and a life-long obsession was born.

For the full article, click here.

That’s all for now—hope to have more gig announcements soon.

Audio: KCSM Interview, 6/30/06

For those of you who were unable to catch my radio interview last Friday, you can hear it at the link below in its entirety (except for the album cuts, which are of course available on the album). (However, it does include my very impromptu solo rendition of “Body and Soul,” a.k.a. “The Man Who Didn’t Warm Up”).

Chris Cortez did a great job steering the conversation in interesting directions and making me sound like a decent public speaker–we covered a lot of ground, talking about the history of the Quintet, my background and influences, and the trials and tribulations of playing the trumpet and finding places to perform jazz. (Bonus points for finding where I use the word “fabulous.”)

Enjoy, and I hope to see you at the Octavia this Saturday night!

Announcements: KCSM Interview, 6/30/06

Hi everyone–I wanted to let you know about a radio interview I’ll be doing tomorrow afternoon on KCSM, which is America’s only 24-hour commercial-free jazz station. Here are the details:

What: Ian Carey interview with Chris Cortez
Where: KCSM 91.1 FM (outside the Bay Area, listen online here.)
When: Tomorrow, Friday, June 30, at 1pm (Pacific)
On-Air Phone: (650) 574-9136

We’ll be playing some cuts from our album, and talking about the Quintet’s upcoming show at the Octavia Lounge in S.F. on July 8th (that’s a week from Saturday). As they used to say, “Tune In, Turn On, and Jazz Out.” (OK, that was horrible.) So listen if you can, and feel free to call the studio and critique my public-speaking skillz. (There will be plenty to critique.)

Also: Evan Francis, our saxophonist, will be performing with his group Spaceheater this Saturday 7/1 at Amnesia (853 Valencia @ 19th St., SF) from 10:30pm-12:45am. Check it out.

Sink/Swim in “N.Y. @ Night” Monthly Picks; Other News

Hi listeners, hope you’re enjoying your springs. Here are a few items to keep you informed about the Quintet, and my music in general:

First, thanks to everyone who turned out for our final performance at the House of Shields, or any of the performances during our several-year-residency, for that matter–it was a good run, and I can honestly say that the band’s chemistry would not have developed nearly as quickly without those regular gigs. It’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to keep building on that base, but that’s the nature of the business.

Fortunately, we have some potential quintet shows on the horizon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I’ll try and post some audio highlights from the H.O.S. archive from time to time, partly to keep you (the listeners) interested, but mainly because I just think the band makes me sound really good.

There have been some more positive developments for our CD, Sink/Swim:

  • David Adler, an excellent writer whose work has been featured in Slate, JazzTimes, and elsewhere, has selected the album as one of his monthly picks for All About Jazz‘s “New York @ Night” column.
  • Speaking of All About Jazz, their featured download of “Thirteen,” the album’s first track, has been downloaded nearly nine hundred times! Good to know it’s getting “out there” (and bringing visitors to this site from Italy to Malaysia).
  • The album has also recently received some airplay on KCSM, the country’s only 24-hour commercial-free jazz station, which we’re fortunate to have here in the Bay Area. If you’re a local, consider giving them a call to request it. (And while you’re at it, make a donation for their pledge drive.)
  • In addition to being available on, the CD can now also be purchased locally at Groove Yard, a fine independent record store specializing in jazz and blues, which is located at 5555 Claremont Avenue in Oakland. (The selection and prices of their jazz records and CDs are outstanding.)

That’s all for now–thanks for stopping by.

Announcements: All About Jazz Featured Download

All About Jazz, which is an excellent home for jazz reviews, profiles, and articles on the web, has selected “Thirteen,” the first track from our album, Sink/Swim, as its Featured Download for today. Click here to listen or download the complete song. (The song will be archived and available permanently at that location.)

Also, for those of you in the Bay Area, I’ll be performing tomorrow, Monday the 17th, with the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra at Jazz at Pearl’s. The CJO is led by Alex Budman, who sat in with my quintet recently, and on any given Monday, the Orchestra features some of the area’s best improvisers, not to mention phenomenal sight-readers. Stop by and soak up some rollicking big band sounds.

Starting in a few weeks, I’ll be posting some more highlights from our several-year run at the House of Shields–there may even be a “Best of” live CD-R available if anyone’s interested.

Note: You can keep up to date with all the latest info from this site by subscribing to our RSS feed (through a feed-reader such as Bloglines), which will automatically update any time there’s new content.

Thanks for listening!