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Michael Reed Carney

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Michael Reed Carney

Michael Reed Carney passed away on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at Long Beach Memorial Hospital after a two-year battle with lung cancer. He was 59. He was a loving husband and father and will be missed by many. Michael was the Director of Percussion Studies at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach for thirty-one years. He taught generations of percussionists and directed the World Percussion Group, Steel Drum Orchestra, and the Drums and Drummers Project. He also taught classes in World Music, which are required for all music majors and open to the entire university. Michael was born in 1952 in Palmyra, New York. He earned his Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees in percussion performance from East Carolina University, the Eastman School of Music, and North Texas State University, respectively. He also studied at the International Center for African Music and Dance in Ghana, and the Oficina de Investigaçaõ Musical and Rio Grupo Percussaõ in Brazil. Michael, a life-long performer and student of percussion, traveled the world performing, teaching, and studying a large variety of musical instruments and styles. He was a nationally and internationally recognized performer, composer, teacher, and scholar who performed, taught, and conducted musical and cultural research throughout the United States and abroad. His broad range of knowledge and performance expertise ranged from classical to jazz, and included musical instruments and styles from West Africa, the Caribbean, and Brazil. His musical journeys took him to Spain, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Japan, and multiple times to Trinidad (West Indies), Ghana (West Africa), the Philippines, Thailand, and Brazil. As a drummer and vibraphonist, Carney performed with such jazz notables as Al Vizzutti, Pepper Adams, Bill Watrous, Eddie Daniels, John Pattitucci, Ernie Andrews, and Grammy Award Winner Bobby McFerrin. In the summer of 2005, Michael completed his first jazz concert tour of Brazil, performing vibraphone and steel pan in concerts at the Ibitipoca Jazz Festival and in Rio de Janeiro with the Michael Carney-Guilherme Gonçalves Group. This concert tour gained honors from the Jazz Society of Rio de Janeiro when his Mistura Fina Concert in Rio was named as the #2 International Jazz Concert of the Year (Wayne Shorter was #1) and Carney was named as the #3 International Jazz Musician of the Year (tied with Wynton Marsalis and Roy Hargrove). As a steel pan performer, he had the honor of performing with some of the greatest steel pan players in the world such as Andy Narell, Len "Boogsie" Sharpe, Ray Holman, and Liam Teague. Michael also performed on steel pan in Trinidad at the Panorama National Steelband Competition with Phase II Pan Groove and Potential Symphony in 1989 and with the Hummingbirds in 1993. As a classical percussionist, Michael performed recitals, concerts, and gave workshops. He performed with the North Carolina Symphony, Pacific Symphony, and Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. Michael gave numerous performances and master classes at colleges, universities, public schools, and private venues throughout the United States. He also had his compositions performed and was featured as a steel pan soloist with several symphony orchestras including: Virginia Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Tulsa Philharmonic, Modesto Symphony, New Mexico Symphony, Wichita Symphony, and Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. He was the leader of Pandemonium Steel Drum Band and the Michael Carney World Jazz Experience. He was the founder and director of the World Percussion Project, a program that took American professionals, students, and teachers abroad for intensive study of music and culture. Through the Project, Michael took participants to Rio de Janeiro; Salvador, Bahia, Brazil; and Ghana. Michael was predeceased by his father, John M. Carney, and stepfather, James J. Alvaro. He is survived by his loving wife, Grace Yanagisawa Carney; children, Nikolaus, Noelle, and Jasmine Carney; former wife and mother of Nikolaus and Noelle, Jann Elston Carney; siblings, Deborah (Gabe) Cinquegrana, Brian Carney, and Patricia (Mark Joseph) Clapton all of N.Y.; mother, Janice Alvaro of N.Y.; stepmother, Shirley Carney of FL.; and also aunts, uncles, and other relatives. A "Celebration of Life" for Michael Carney will be held on Tuesday, July 17, 2012 at 3:00 pm at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the campus of CSULB. Please sign the guest book at www.presstelegram.com/obituaries. Fukui Mortuary
(213) 626-0441
www.fukuimortuary.com

Published in Daily Breeze on June 24, 2012
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