Ian began performing folk music in clubs and on college campuses. After graduating from Guilford College, he performed as a singer-songwriter across the United States for ten years. From 1980 until 2002, he continued to write and play music, including touring the Soviet Union in 1988, but he set aside regular performing to organize a series of non-profit projects focused on creating a sustainable future. This included work with John Denver and the Windstar Foundation in the late 1980's.
In 2006, Ian returned to performing as the host of the Green Radio Bistro show. Here he is playing a James Taylor song on an early Bistro pilot show. Ian is now giving concerts and private events to build support for Climate Now.