Kari Carson

Adjunct Instructor

Division: Classical Performance and Composition, Contemporary Music
Program: Composition, Popular Music

Expertise: Composition, Popular Music
Phone: (213) 740-3224
Email: kharris@usc.edu
Office: TMC 118


Kari Carson was raised in Seattle, Washington, where she began working as a professional jazz trombonist at the age of 14. While completing an undergraduate degree in trombone performance at Berklee College of Music, Carson performed at numerous national and international jazz festivals and was selected as one of IAJE’s “Sisters in Jazz” in 1999.

After graduating summa cum laude from Berklee in 2001, Carson moved to Los Angeles to earn a master’s in jazz studies from the USC Thornton School of Music. In April 2003, she was selected as a finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Trombone Competition. Upon completion of her M.M., Carson spent two years in Boston as an assistant professor at Berklee, where she taught music theory and trombone lessons. She has been a member of the Boston-based New Life Jazz Orchestra for thirteen years, earning the nickname “Funky Brewster.”

Carson earned a doctorate in jazz studies from USC Thornton in 2008. She now resides in Los Angeles and teaches courses in music theory and the Popular Music program at Thornton. She actively performs on both the east and west coasts.