Carey West is a dynamic vocalist who has leant her talents to several collaborations. She hasbuilt a reputation energetic and heartfelt performances whether leading her Jazz ensemble “Carey West and The Millionaires”, fronting Carribean Funk group “The Liquidaires” or easing in with alt-bluegrass group “The Jeremiahs”. Her exploits have led to many high profile performances including a live broadcast on CBC Radio One and appearances at Young and Dundas Square, Nathan Phillips Square, Harbourfront Centre and Roy Thompson Hall. She has also held several residencies at venerated venues such as The Rex Jazz Bar, The Cameron House, The Old York, and Mitzi’s sister.
Her latest release of a Jazz “unStandards”album is titled “Made of Clay”. This is a carefully curated collection of songs featuring arrangements by pianist Marcel Aucoin and vocalist Rebecca Campbell was produced in partnership with Jeff Wilson.
The album release was celebrated in concert at Heritage Hall in Guelph on Oct. 20th, 2017.
The Longer Version:
Raised on Ward’s Island in the 70’s and 80’s, in a community of artists Carey was fortunate to absorb inspiration from a wide variety of sources. Studying French immersion in China Town, stilt walking in Caribbana, serving as a youth liaison in Shadowland Theatre’s partnerships with Native communities, while running around the nescient “Little Italy” taught her to enjoy the movable feast of the city’s artistic events. Her love of story telling led her to study at Ryerson University’s New Media and Image Arts program, where she graduated in 2001.
Carey followed her passion for music developing a career as a performer and a music teacher. She has demonstrated her diversity fronting the Jazz group “Carey West and the Millionaires”, as a singer/songwriter in the Caribbean Funk outfit “The Liquidaires” and by lending her chops to the four-part vocals of the alt-bluegrass band “The Jeremiahs”. In 2008 Carey was awarded funding by the Ontario Arts Council and produced the album “Travel Light”, a collection of original songs that blended the influence of folk music from around the world grounded in intimate lyrics.
Concurrently Carey studied music education at the Royal Conservatory and trained as an Orff Method teacher, completing levels I and II. She has also completed the Early Childhood Music course, and studied world music for children with Doug Goodkin. She has worked as the Music Specialist for a Montessori school in Toronto’s downtown core for over a decade.
In 2014 Carey relocated to Guelph where her and her husband, percussionist Jeff Wilson (Maza Meze, Jaffa Road, Polaris) built a music studio. Taking part in the city’s rich music community Carey has facilitated workshops in Vocal Improvisation at Silence and assembled a new Jazz Quartet. She is currently in production of her first Jazz album and performs regularly in the region. She continues to collaborate with Wilson on songwriting, recording and feast making, much of which is chronicled on this site. She also really really likes street lamps.