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Clark Terry

About this Artist

Trumpeter CLARK TERRY is celebrated for his great technical virtuosity, swinging lyricism and impeccable musical taste. In the 1940’s after serving in the Navy, Terry played successful stints in the bands of Charlie Barnet, Charlie Ventura, Eddie Vinson, and then, in 1948 with the great Count Basie. Along the way, lark was exerting a positive influence on younger musicians such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, both of whom credit Clark as a formidable influence during the early stages of their careers. In 1951, Terry was asked to join the Duke Ellington Orchestra, where he played for eight years as a featured soloist. Accepting the challenge of becoming the first African-American musician on the NBC payroll, Clark soon became one of the spotlight players in the “Tonight Show Band.” It was during his period that Clark scored a smash hit as a singer with his impressive “Mumbles.” Terry recorded regularly in the 1960s including a classic set with the Oscar Peterson Trio and several dates with the quintet he co-led with valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer. Throughout the 1970s, '80s and '90s Terry has remained a major force, recording and performing in a wide variety of settings including at the head of his short-lived big band in the mid-'70s, with all-star groups for Pablo and as an exciting guest artist. While earning hundreds of honors, making recordings and sell-out appearances at festivals and concerts worldwide, Terry has increased his activities as a jazz educator. His dedication to the task of passing the torch of musical improvisation onto the next generation is remarkable.