James Carney Quartet

Photo by Robert Lewis

Pianist and composer James Carney has worked with Ravi Coltrane, Christian McBride, Michael Cain, Darek Oleszkiewicz, Tim Berne, Nels Cline, and Todd Sickafoose.

He has recorded five albums as a leader: "Thread" (2002), "Offset Rhapsody" (1997), "Fables from the Aqueduct" (1994), all on the Jacaranda label, and "Green-Wood" (2007) and "Ways & Means" (2009), on Songlines.

The septet he leads on the two latest recordings, features some of New York’s most creative and in-demand musicians: Ralph Alessi, Tony Malaby, Josh Roseman, Peter Epstein, Chris Lightcap, and Mark Ferber.

A sixth recording, featuring Ravi Coltrane, Oscar Noriega, Stephanie Richards, Dezron Douglas, and Tom Rainey will be released in 2016.

Commissions have come from Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Puffin Cultural Foundation, the California Arts Council, The Extension Ensemble brass quintet, and the Syracuse International Film Festival.

James is a recipient of the ASCAP / Chamber Music America “Adventurous Programming" Award. He also won the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Composers Award, a California Arts Council fellowship in composition (2000), and two American Composers Forum Subito Grants (2001 & 2004).

He has been a visiting artist at The Eastman School of Music, New York University, Cal State Los Angeles, the University of Nevada at Reno, Ithaca College, Williams College, Saddleback College, California Institute of the Arts and the University of Missouri at St. Louis. He is also on the faculty of the School for Improvisational Music in Brooklyn.

He graduated from California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with Charlie Haden, James Newton, and John Carter.


Trumpeter Ralph Alessi was born in San Francisco. After taking degrees in jazz trumpet and bass—he studied under the legendary Charlie Haden at CalArts—he moved to New York, where he's been a frequent collaborator with such notable musicians as Steve Coleman, Jason Moran, Don Byron, Ravi Coltrane, Fred Hersch, Uri Caine, and Dafnis Prieto.

Alessi has recorded nine albums of original compositions. He currently records for the ECM record label and in 2013 released "Baida" which was called “unstoppably inventive” by the New York Times. In early 2016, he will release "Quiver", which will coincide with a week long engagement at The Village Vanguard.

Alessi is the founder and director of the School for Improvisational Music in New York City. He has taught at the Eastman School of Music, New York University, and New England Conservatory.


Bassist John Hebert has performed and recorded with Andrew Hill, Fred Hersch, Lee Konitz, Paul Motian, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Bley, Matt Wilson, Russ Lossing, Joel Frahm, Tony Malaby, Bennie Wallace, Andy Milne, Billy Drummond, Jeff Williams, John O'Gallagher, Tim Berne, Marty Ehrlich, Mat Maneri, and Mary Halvorson.

In addition to his extensive sideman work, he has released two Cds as a leader. 2009ʼs "Byzantine Monkey" (Firehouse 12) features saxophonists Tony Malaby and Michael Attias. 2010ʼs "Spiritual Lover" (Clean Feed) features pianist Benoit Delbecq and drummer Gerald Cleaver


Drummer Mark Ferber began his musical studies on piano at the age of five in Moraga, CA. Mark studied classical percussion with Mitchell Peters and drums with Billy Higgins and Joe Labarbera.

A partial list of his playing credits include Lee Konitz, Dave Liebman, Don Byron, Norah Jones, Kenny Werner, Steve Swallow, Fred Hersch, Billy Childs, Bob Sheppard, Jack Wilkins, Bud Shank, Anthony Wilson, Larry Goldings, Jared Gold, Ralph Alessi, Diana Krall, and Alan Ferber.

Mark can be heard on recent recordings with various artists on Soul Note, Fresh Sound/New Talent, Sunnyside, Omnitone and Steeplechase Records.

He is a part time faculty member for the City College of New York and the School of Improvisational Music. Currently, Mark resides in Brooklyn, New York.

He has appeared previously at Chez Hanny with John O'Gallagher, the Ferber Brothers & Le Boeuf Brothers, Dan Pratt, Jonathan Kreisberg, and the Jon Gordon Trio with Joe Bagg.