Terry Clarke

Drummer, Terry Clarke was born on August 20, 1944 in Vancouver, British Columbia.  His natural rhythmic aptitude was obvious from an early age, and at the age of twelve, he began studying formally with the noted drum teacher and author Jim Blackley—who was to remain a primary and ongoing figure in Terry’s development as a musician.

In 1965, Terry moved to San Francisco to work with John Handy III.  He performed with him for the next two and a half years, during which time the GRAMMY nominated recording, Live at Monterey Jazz Fest (Columbia, 1966) was made.  Following the John Handy experience, Terry began building his reputation for versatility by joining the world-famous pop vocal group, “The Fifth Dimension”.  At the time, they were at the height of their popularity, and Terry traveled and performed extensively with them throughout the U.S.A., Canada and Europe.  Terry left “The Fifth Dimension” in 1970, and re-located to Toronto.  For the next fifteen years he played an abundance of jazz in all styles, as well as being in demand in Toronto’s considerable studio scene.  Countless television shows, jingles and recording dates were Terry’s mainstay, as well as touring Japan and Europe with noted jazz guitarist, Jim Hall and piano great, Oscar Peterson.

Terry Clarke is well-known as a founding member of the world acclaimed big-band, “Rob McConnell’s Boss Brass”.  For twenty-five years he recorded and toured with the band, helping to define it’s remarkable sound. In 1985, Terry made a bold move to New York to pursue an exclusively jazz career.  During his stint there, he worked with The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, The Joe Roccisano Jazz Orchestra, Jim Hall, Jay Leonhart, Helen Merrill, Marvin Stamm, Bob Mintzer, and Mark Murphy (among others).  Terry Clarke has recorded well over 300 albums with various jazz artists including Jim Hall, Oscar Peterson, Rob McConnell, The Singers Unlimited, Frank Rossolino, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Lew Tabackin, Freddie Hubbard, Jay McShann, Buddy Tate, Emily Remler, John Handy III, Ed Bickert, Helen Merrill and Roger Kellaway.

Terry is a familiar face at jazz festivals in Europe, Canada, Japan and the U.S.  After fifteen years of  living and working  in New York City, he re-located to Toronto with his wife Lesley, and their two young sons, Kristopher and Kyle. In October of 1999, Terry re-united with Rob McConnell to help form the “Rob McConnell Tentet”—an exciting newly formatted group comprised mainly of charter “Boss Brass” members, and fueled by the brilliant writing of Rob McConnell.  This new group has received rave reviews for their “live” performances, as well as a GRAMMY nomination and a JUNO award for their self-titled debut CD on the “Justin Time” label.  As a jazz educator, Terry Clarke is currently an adjunct professor at The University of Toronto, and n January of 2002 and 2003, he was honored as “Drummer of the Year” at the annual “Canadian National Jazz Awards”.  Terry Clarke has also been recently named as a Member of the prestigious Order of Canada.