Born in St. Louis in 1920, Clark Terry’s career in jazz spans more than sixty years. After early stints in the bands of George Hudson, Charlie Barnet, Charlie Ventura and Eddie Vinson, Clark joined The Count Basie Orchestra in 1948. In 1951, he joined the Duke Ellington Orchestra and stayed on for eight years as a featured soloist.
In 1960, Clark’s international recognition soared when he accepted an offer from the National Broadcasting Company to become its first African-American staff musician. Soon after, Clark became a ten-year television star as one of the spotlighted players in the Tonight Show band where he scored a smash hit as a singer with his irrepressible “Mumbles.”
From the ’70s through the ’90s, Clark performed at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and Lincoln Center; toured with the Newport Jazz All Stars and Jazz at the Philharmonic; and he was featured with Skitch Henderson’s New York Pops Orchestra. Since 2000, he hosts Clark Terry Jazz Festivals on land and sea, and his own jazz camps.