Professor Thomas Erdmann publishes article in international music journal

Professor of Music Thomas Erdmann publishes an article in professional trumpet journal.

An article by Professor Thomas Erdmann in the Department of Music publishes article published in October 2021 issue of The International Trumpet Guild Journal.

The article, “Ian Carey: Contrast Can Be Just As Effective As Synchronicity,” is about jazz trumpeter, with multiple appearances on Downbeat magazine’s Rising Star runners-up list, and an exceptional graphic designer and illustrator so busy he has to turn work away.

Ian Carey, a trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer and bandleader, puts these different careers on full presentation with his newest release “Fire In My Head, The Anxiety Suite.”  Carey not only did the intricate CD jacket graphics, but also played and composed the music.  Carey’s compositions, on this his sixth release as a leader, were the result of a New Jazz Works commission grant from no-less a prestigious institution than Chamber Music America.

As a jazz musician, Carey has been working hard his entire life and the fruits are paying off handsomely. Bill Kirchner, editor of The Oxford Companion to Jazz, calls Carey’s “Interview Music” album, “Extraordinary writing for three horns―some of the best I’ve ever heard.”  Downbeat gave Carey’s “Roads & Codes” album a coveted 4½ star rating, commenting on both his skills as an illustrator and performer. “Carey knows it can [take] creative packaging to get great music noticed these days. ‘Roads & Codes’ showcases both the trumpeter’s sideline as an illustrator and his primary gig as the leader of a highly skilled band of improvisers,” the review said. Of Carey’s “Contextualizin‘” album, Cadence Magazine noted, “Carey interprets his own compositions with straightforward melodic lyricism—deceptively straightforward, in fact [this disc is] an opportunity to showcase ‘discursively’ not only Carey’s distinctive style, but also his varied compositional talent.”

Carey was born on July 24, 1974 in Binghamton, New York, to a musical family.  His dad was a choral vocalist on many recordings of Ives and Stravinsky, and the whole family sang in the church choir.  It was the church’s guest brass quintets which inspired Carey to pick up the trumpet in the fourth grade. At 13, the family moved to Folsom, California where he joined the local award-winning high school jazz band and a fervor for the music took hold of him.

Before transferring to The New School in New York, Carey started collegiate studies in classical music at the University of Nevada at Reno, but left due to the lack of jamming partners at the time. In New York he studied improvisation with living legends like Billy Harper, Loren Schoenberg and Reggie Workman; composition with Bill Kirchner and Maria Schneider; and trumpet with Cecil Bridgewater, Laurie Frink and John McNeil.

After seven years of working and playing in New York, Carey moved to San Francisco and quickly became one of the area’s busier jazz trumpeters, as well as a highly successful graphic artist.

Well on his way, Carey’s accomplishments are the result of hard work, dedicated listening and hours upon hours of practice. One only needs to listen to how effortless Carey makes playing the trumpet sound to know he puts in his time in the woodshed.  Just in his 40s, Carey’s past successes point toward an increasingly upward trajectory of not just wider acclaim and but visual artistic achievement.