Photo credit: Glenn Kujansuu of GK Photos


The Patch Em Project
 [Convening Concert + Dialogue]

Oct. 8th
Detroit, MI

Southwest Detroit Community + Green Veteran BBQ
Oct. TBA


Detroit Design Festival
Sept. 28th at Eastern Market
[Griot/Djele performance-presentation in ensemble with the Detroit Afrikan Funkestra]

Sept. 16th [two(!) performances]

FRoG Partnership Fundraising Performance
Sat. Sept 16th 3:00-7:00pm
At Carbon Athletic Club (Del Ray neighborhood) in Detroit, MI
Performance-presentation with Marc Gutierrez and Markita Moore for the historical Fort Street Rouge River Park.

The Dovetail
[Performance with Elemental Meaning]
Sat. Sept. 16th 8:30-10:30pm
at The Dovetail in Warren, MI
With long-time local Michigan singer songwriters like Anthony Retka (of Tone and Niche).

Ohana Gardens
Sept. 15th Approximately 7:00pm
[Experimental Community Performance]
with Onyx Ashanti, Pierre Lambla, possibly Efe Bes and others.

2017 Summer Detroit Couchsurfer’s Gathering
[friendly community performance]

Detroit City of Design: Future of Work Festival Opening
Participant in VIP launch as part of the Peer Advisory Group.

Garden of Earthly Delights Tumbullplex benefit concert with Jordan Hamilton, Elemental Meaning, and Scott Murphy
Aug. 28th at the Trumbullplex, Detroit, MI

Aug 26-28th Saugatuk, MI
[In Performance with Elemental Meaning]

Oshkosh International Airshow – Research
July 25-28th Oshkosh, WI

DC3 Economic Public Feedback Session
(contributing among public audience)
July 19th at Focus Hope, Detroit

Recording Session
[Studio Recording time with Bryce Detroit]
May 29th United Recording Studios

Recording Session
[Studio Recording time with Elemental Meaning]
May 15th in MI
Finishing up our recording to “3 Chords” so that the band and children’s choir tracks will smoothly combine.

Waterhill Music Festival 2017
[Performance+Storytelling with Elemental Meaning]
May 7th, in the Waterhill neighborhood, Ann Arbor MI

Saturday at Silvio’s [Solo + Friend(s?)]
May 6th, Silvio’s Organic Ristorante e Pizzeria, Ann Arbor MI
Starting at 6:00pm
715 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Detroit People’s Climate March 2017
Apr. 29th at Peck Park, Detroit MI

Saturday at Silvio’s [Solo + Friend(s?)]
Apr. 22nd at Silvio’s Organic Ristorante e Pizzeria, Ann Arbor MI
Starting at 6:00pm

Songwriter’s Sunday at Farmington Community Library
Apr. 9th 2017 Farmington, MI
[Elemental Meaning Acoustic Performance]
8:00pm at The Farmington Community Library Farmington, MI USA
Ian D. Tran and Markita Moore reunite (fresh from their tours in France and New Orleans, respectively) in performance and storytelling as Elemental Meaning to share the stories behind their creative process, do and discuss their artistry and advocacy, and perform new acoustic tunes with experimental audience participation. (Charisse Hatton may also be playing with us too!) Join us!

{Cultural Exchange, Conference + Tour}

PARIS, at Atelier du Plateau
Mar. 22nd [DAF Performance]:
Event Flier (in French)

SAINT-ETIENNE –Locations Vary
Mar. 8th [DAF Performance]: La Platine Courtyard
Biennale Inaugural Event VIP

Mar. 9th [DAF Performance]: at Le Fil
Black Milk with Onyx Ashanti + the Detroit Afrikan Funkestra
Mar. 10th [Efe Bes+IBM Performance]: La Platine

Mar. 13th [Teaching Independent Workshop]: at the Mothership
Inclusive Design: Art and Participatory Power Structures
Saint Etienne, France
Program description: (in French, English translation available)
Join #Griot Ian Tran, as he shows participants how art and music reflect the structures of power in society, and can serve as an example to create and experiment with more open and cooperative systems.
-Detroit Afrikan Music Institution

Mar. 15th [Performance]: Place du Coq/Rue Neyron neighborhood

Mar. 16th 15:00
[Performance] [Re]Integrate!
Cafe Detroit Courtyard
Ian & friends in concert–music transitions across a spectrum of controlled narration and expertise to more participatory and inclusive approaches to reintegrate the role of the public in creation and public participation.

Mar. 16th 19:00
[DAF Performance]
At Musee du la Mines
Program description (in French, English translation available)

Mar 19th
[Joining Exploratory Jam]
Gypsy Jazz& Swing Night at Soggy Bottom

Mar 20th
House Concert
Traditional, Contemporary, and Improvised works with Harpist Marlène Charpentié

DJ Mustard Studio Session with Markita Moore
Los Angeles/Hollywood, CA
Feb. 2017

Ferndale Public School Arts Benefit Concert
In performance with Elemental Meaning
Friday, Jan. 13th 2017
8:00pm at The Loving Touch in Ferndale, MI USA

Detroit Afrikan Funkestra performs to close the Knight Arts Challenge Award Ceremony
Thursday Nov. 3rd 2016
6:00pm at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit, MI

A condensed performance of our original composition and group improvisations, we’re also working to move the needle on making sure that major organizations like the Knight Fouundation properly compensate their performers. The Detroit Afrikan Funkestra, part of the Detroit Afrikan Music Institution, is doing more than performing to entertain–behind the scenes we actively work to create a viable economy that benefits the people who contribute and the communities they come from. Part of our work also includes education and advocacy for the deeper context and tools that make vibrant communities happen and endure.


Solar Neighbors: Taking Charge of Your Power
Short Film Screening and Participatory Dialogue
Thursday Oct. 19th 2016

Screening a short documentary by Diane Checklich on the North End’s solar lamps initiative and highlighting how two communities have taken steps to go off-grid with solar lighting with Rev. Joan Ross of the North End North End neighborhood and Jackson Koeppel of Soulidarity from Highland Park.

On behalf of the USGBC DRC, I’ll be facilitating a participatory dialogue to explore what residents can do now, and how your actions connect with broader statewide policy (and vice versa) for renewables and community sovereignty. All are welcome to join the conversation!

Celebrating Thanksgiving with Canadian Couchsurfers
Oct. 10th

Drop-In Performance & Farewell to Erin
with Plenty Rhythm
Thursday. Oct. 6th
At Cultivate Cofee & Brewery
Ypsilanti, MI

Celebrate with a swing dance, a drink, and early jazz classics with Plenty Rhythm led by Erin Morris on tuba, Jim Dapogny on piano, Rod Stewart on guitar, & Mike Caroub on cello. I’ll stop by to play (an maybe even sing) a few tunes on the fiddle too!

Michigan Water Policy Conference
Hosted by the Southeast Michigan Sustainable Business Forum
Thursday Sept. 27th 2016
MSU Detroit Center Detroit, MI

[a note of divine irony: this took place the day Detroit experienced record flooding, whole cars submerged under highway passes, and climate scientists declared that we’ve entered a global emergency by surpassing the 400 ppm tipping point]

What if neighborhoods could generate and use clean drinking water in an emergency? Or on a regular basis without relying on a city’s watersource? Right now, Michigan’s laws make it difficult for homes to do this, but the technology and need does exist. Michigan experienced 3 major crises in the past 5 years: Flint water crises (ongoing), Detroit water shutoffs (ongoing), and toxic algal blooms rendered water in Monroe/Toledo unsafe to drink & bathe in. In Blackout of 2003, the electrical blackout affecting the North Eastern US also meant water could not be pumped from municipal sources. With flooding, continued risks to the energy grid, and ongoing crises, I intend to introduce the need for local resilience in statewide water policy.

In performance with
The Detroit Afrikan Funkestra at Detroit Design Festival
Friday Sept. 23rd 2016
6:00-9:00 PM at Oaklend Avenue Farm in the North End neighborhood
9227 Goodwin, Detroit, MI 48211

A collaborative performance with thanks to Bryce Detroit and the Detroit Afrikan Funkestra, whose work revolves around new economics (co-operative enterprises, and economic strategies designed for community wealth) and New Afrikan Aesthetics with consciousness and a hyper-local focus on community impact.

Workshop & Panel Discussion: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Wednesday Sept 14th 2016
10:00am-12:00pm at Lansing Community College

I’ll be joining panelists from around the nation (maybe even world) to speak & share perspectives on imposter syndrome, ways to overcome it, and how to support first generation students in higher education. My experiences with leading the USGBC’s statewide advocacy in Michigan, and with perspective from my work with complex systems and education strategy.

In Performance:
Fundraising for the Fort Street Bridge Park

Monday Sept. 12th 2016
4:00pm-7:00pm at Fort Street Brewery

Performance and brief remarks in fundraising for the upcoming Fort Street River Park. Dr. Paul Draus and Dr. Orin Gelderloos may be there too–one of them with an accordion to assist with singing sea chanteys!

Facebook event details here:
Fundraiser here:

In Performance: Dally in the Ally
Collaborative performance with
performance artist & painter, Riley Hanson

3:00pm-7:00pm Saturday Sept. 10th 2016

A collaboration to highlight isolation, the role of aggression in toxic masculinity, challenge the roles of an audience and an invitation to participate in demonstrating what healthy intervention and healing can look like. With audience participation, viola, paint, and maybe wrestling. We’ll be somewhere in the festivities, probably in a booth/tent on a street.