Cary has always had a passion for classical, jazz, rock, and film score music, having grown up hearing his father play classical music on the piano and hearing classical, jazz, and film score records played constantly in the house. In addition to that, he was fascinated by hearing his grandmother and great-grandmother play ragtime duets on piano and organ.
After studying classical piano with master Jeffrey Marcus, he attended the Eastman School of Music/University of Rochester where he received a double degree in Piano Performance and Film Studies. There, he studied classical piano with Barry Snyder and Elier Suarez, and jazz arranging and film scoring with the legendary Rayburn Wright. After college, he continued his piano studies with jazz pianists Harold Danko and Donald Brown.
His performing career since then has been quite diverse, including performances, recordings, and tours with The Skatalites, New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble (co-founder/composer), Sloan Wainwright, Loudon Wainwright III, Rufus Wainwright, John Scofield, Levon Helm, Yonrico Scott, Clark Gayton, Tony Mason, Carmen Ruby Floyd, Chuck Leavell, and saxophonist Matt Garrison.
Cary has also been quite active as a pianist/composer in the dance world, holding the position of Dance Musicians’ Coordinator/Staff Pianist for the prestigious Purchase College Conservatory of Dance since 2000, and playing master-classes for American Ballet Theatre, Miami City Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Mark Morris Company, José Limón Company among many other noted companies. He has played classes for noted dancers including Suzanne Farrell, George de la Peña, Edward Villella, Susan Jaffe, Kurt Froman, and jazz dancer Chet Walker at the Jacob’s Pillow Summer Intensive. He also has served as the Musical Director for the Steffi Nossen School of Dance since 1995, for whom he has composed and recorded an annual dance suite every year since his start there. He continues to have a thriving private piano and guitar teaching practice in the Westchester, NY area where he has taught piano and/or guitar to the children of many well-known performing artists and composers such Chevy Chase, Alan Menken, John Scofield, Chazz Palminteri, and Paul Shaffer. His students have gone on to be accepted into well-known jazz studies programs in schools including NYU, Berklee College of Music, and Purchase College. He continues to play live with his own acoustic piano trio, The Cary Brown Trio.