Henry Armburg Jennings (t) Chris Maddocks (as) Reuben James (p) Dan Casimir (b) Clark Tracey (d)
Clark is a frequent visitor to the Festival with top bandleaders. But as a leader, he continues to bring together groups of outstanding young musicians to play accessible, exciting post-bop jazz. This latest formation are all still in their early twenties.
Clark was born in London in 1961. He grew up in a jazz environment as the son of Stan Tracey, the UK’s leading jazz pianist, and from an early age took to the piano and vibraphones. At 13 he started playing the drums and began working with semi professional jazz groups until he turned professional at 17 in 1978 by joining his father’s various ensembles, from trio to orchestra. Within that context he has toured worldwide and recorded extensively ever since. In 2001 Clark set up his own record company, Tentoten Records and in 2007 he also started up Resteamed Records, a label dedicated to his father’s works.
In 1981 he formed the first of his own groups with Django Bates, Iain Ballamy and Andrew Cleyndert. Later groups included Guy Barker, Jamie Talbot, Nigel Hitchcock, Dave O’Higgins, Mark Nightingale, Mornington Lockett, Julian Arguelles, Gerard Presencer, Alec Dankworth and Steve Melling, Simon Allen and Zoe Rahman. More recently he led a sextet featuring young luminaries Lewis Wright and Kit Downes and a quartet with Brandon Allen, Gareth Williams and Arnie Somogyi, performing British material.
Clark has had 30 years’ experience playing alongside some of the most important artists in jazz at home and abroad. Some of the most significant unions with American artists have been with Johnny Griffin, Pharaoh Sanders, John Hicks, George Cables, Bud Shank, Red Rodney, and Scott Hamilton. British artists include names such as Ronnie Scott, John Surman, Alan Skidmore, Kenny Wheeler, Alan Barnes, Don Weller and Tommy Smith. He has recorded over 90 albums (9 as a leader) and performed in around 50 countries. He has been awarded “Best Drums” title three times in the British Jazz Awards and Ronnie Scott’s Award for “Best Drums” in 2007.