We had the good fortune of connecting with Ian Patrick Cler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ian Patrick, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
In his album liner notes of A Love Supreme, John Coltrane writes, “[…] a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music.” Coltrane understood that the music was more about others than about himself. He realized he taken music/creativity for granted. To put it another way: Creativity’s purpose should be unification and a resource for building up your community. Coltrane realized the importance of this notion. Therefore, A Love Supreme, was an offering in four parts: Acknowledgement. Resolution. Pursuance. Psalm/ A Love Supreme. My career, as a musician, has been supplemented by the idea that creativity and art is one of the best ways to include and uplift others, build a stronger community of love and understanding, and to bring joy and peace to those who need it. That is solely why I chose to make a career out of my craft. It’s definitely a calling.

Please tell us more about your work. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. 
1. Be Inclusive Like, Coltrane, my musical affairs, now, have thus shifted from being esoteric and exclusive to collaborative and inclusive. Years ago, as a young jazz studies student living in the big city of Chicago, my intent was to become the best at my craft (whatever that meant) and to show the world I had succeeded. That idea soon wears thin. You soon realize there are better musicians than you, you realize how scant your ideas really are, and you realize that self-ambition and your opinions doesn’t land you gigs. In other words, the craft is no longer about creatively it’s about competition. Music has become your way to get, not to give. And, that is an issue I had to resolve very quickly.

2. Don’t Slander Gossip is false reportage about someone (typically in a negative manner). Slander is demeaning someone about concocted false reports as to damage their reputations and position yourself better than he or she. Honesty, this happens everywhere. I have to learn to hard way. Now, I just run away from it

3. Build Up Your Community You can sit back, be cynical, and pontificate all you want. Or, you can make your home and city look beautiful by the way you cultivate love into the mix of everyday living for those around you. Intentionally, I choose to speak life into my family and friends, accept those around me, and empower those to become creative and innovative in everyday life and work. Here is a way that I have begun to build my community. SIDE HUSTLE. SIDE HUSTLE, a writing and recording group, is a fairly new project I started in 2019 with three other professional musicians/composers, bassist Kevin Freeby and saxophonist Ross Rizzo, and drummer Tony Econom. The true mission of SIDE HUSTLE is to make our music community flourish by featuring some of the best and brightest gigging musicians in San Diego. It’s really a means to connect our music community and to harness the love of music among colleagues. It’s a catalyst to creating a platform of a clear representation of how musicians should carry themselves and collaborate. So far, SIDE HUSTLE’s monthly goal has been to put out new original music or cover arrangements via Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Bandcamp, etc. And, so far, it’s been successful. Since last year, we’ve put out three original tunes (Vanilla, Stanky Panky, and Liam’s Tune) and three cover arrangements (Bad Guy, Smells Like Teen Spirit, and What’s Going On). We have featured vocalist Melody Ebner, drummer Korey Kingston, organist/bassist/keyboardist/everythingist Noah Williams, drummer Chris Bailey, and vocalist Durell Anthony. And, we plan on highlighting more from our community. SIDE HUSTLE is currently working on another composition by Ross Rizzo, which features Zak Najor on drums. You can check us out on all streaming platforms.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, I give most of my praise to my wife, Nichole, who has been a formidable inspiration to me. She champions those around her, lifts people up when they are down, and genuinely cares for others. It’s remarkable how she is so accepting and inclusive of everyone, no matter their history or background. It has made me a better thinker and an intentional leader. Second, my stepchildren have given reason to become a better, more intentionally accepting, more loving, more patient, human being. Lastly, I give the music community of San Diego a lot of love and recognition (there are so many, I can’t begin to enumerate). The co-leaders, Kevin Freeby and Ross Rizzo, of my project called SIDE HUSTLE, have challenged me in so many musical ways. I attribute most of my affinity to writing more frequently to them. And, to one of my best friends, Durell Anthony, who has been a strong musical force in our community, leading the way in musicianship and attitude.

Website: ianpatrickcler.com
Instagram: @ianpatrickcler & @side_hustle_sd
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SIDEHUSTLESD
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRjrjqAPRIHZPIFfNwJk4OQ?view_as=subscriber