Cara Tivey

Pianist & Composer

Original music, composition & piano improvisation in a wide range of styles & genres for :

  • Film, theatre, TV and radio productions
  • Creative collaboration with artists and performers
  • Functions and events – weddings, festivals and parties
  • Art exhibitions, dance and spoken word performances
  • Lyricists, poets and authors
  • Music workshop sessions

I can also lead workshops in small groups for breathing, voice production, diction, singing and drama games.

About Me

Classically trained, I have been a professional pianist since leaving drama school in the early eighties. I started working with seminal Birmingham bands Basil Gabbidon (founder member of Steel Pulse) and The Au Pairs and then went on to complete a stint with Everything But The Girl. I was sidekick to Billy Bragg for six years, toured the world with Park Life era Blur and recorded with The Lilac Time. 

I have worked for many years in education, lecturing in performing arts with visually impaired students. I approach all tasks creatively, exploring ways to make the subject accessible.

Recent work includes collaborations with dubstepper Geode and drum and bass artist Amoss. I now perform in my own right and compose hybrid classical/jazz pieces for piano at my Herefordshire home.


Buy Wave Motif, a recent collection of solo piano compositions.


Follow on Soundcloud and listen to unreleased material.


See full discography of record releases I have appeared on.




News and stuff

The Vibration Continues

The Vibration Continues

Last year, during the first lockdown, I decided to apply for Arts Council funding. Having spent a day of improvising on the piano with Rachel Starritt during the Story of Books literature accessibility project, I wanted to explore our musical relationship further. I...

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‘Hush Now’ – Accessibility project

‘Hush Now’ – Accessibility project

In January 2021, Estelle van Warmelo, Creative Director at Feral Productions, Hereford, invited me to work on ideas to make their forthcoming digital production ‘Hush Now’ accessible to a visually impaired audience. This would draw on skills I learned whilst teaching...

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The Ford Collective

The Ford Collective

The Ford Collective is a group of artists, theatre makers, artisan workers, indeed anyone connected to the arts in the wider sense who have come together to raise the profile of the arts in Herefordshire and to maintain a presence during Lockdown. I was invited to...

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Blind Bookworms Book Club

The Story of Books launches the Blind Bookworms Book Club in a three-day multi-sensory event at 20 Castle Street, Hay on Wye, on Thursday 20th, Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd February.

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PrimadonnaFest 2019

PrimadonnaFest 2019

PrimadonnaFest invited me to perform at their inaugural event in August 2019. I played a selection of my compositions for piano on the PettaFiesta stage. Beautiful Suffolk countryside provided a perfect setting for my hybrid of pastoral jazz/classical piano music....

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Cara was a wonderful addition to our live music programming at the first ever Primadonna Festival in Suffolk. Her original compositions drew festival-goers from across the site, creating a beautifully melodic and mellow vibe towards the end of a very hectic day of programming. We hope she’ll come back!

Catherine Riley, General Manager, Primadonna Festival

I hired Cara Tivey to work on a couple of music projects with blind and visually impaired young people at The Story of Books. Professional, kind, and inventive, Cara is a complete joy to work with. I greatly appreciated Cara’s sensitivity to the needs of individuals in the projects. She has a quiet way of bringing out the best in others:- listening deeply, asking intelligent questions, and easing those around her into a place of confidence. Cara is a brilliant musician – and sassy and stylish to boot. I’d work with her again at the drop of a hat.

Emma Balch, The Story of Books

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