Clark Tracey

Jazz Drums Tutor (Ensemble Coaching)

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
c/o +44 (0)121 331 6902

Clark grew up in a jazz environment as the son of piano legend Stan Tracey CBE and from an early age took to the piano and vibraphones. At 13 he started playing the drums and he turned professional at 17 in 1978 by joining his father's various ensembles, from trio to orchestra right up to Stan's death in 2013. Within that context he toured worldwide and recorded extensively. In 2001 Clark began his own record company, Tentoten Records and in 2007 he formed Resteamed Records, a label dedicated to his father's works.

As a leader:
In 1981 he formed the first of his own groups with Django Bates, & Iain Ballamy. Later groups included Guy Barker, Nigel Hitchcock, Dave O'Higgins, Mark Nightingale, Mornington Lockett, Julian Arguelles, Gerard Presencer, Alec Dankworth, Simon Allen, Zoe Rahman, Lewis Wright and Kit Downes. His latest band of luminaries features Chris Maddock, Henry Armburg Jennings, Harry Bolt and Daniel Casimir.

As a composer:
He has received commissions for his quintet, an octet called "Bootleg Eric" shared with pianist Dave Newton, "Continental Drift" (an 11 piece band co-composed with Stan Tracey and commissioned by The Arts Council), and composed for the Berkshire Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Appleby Festival big band. He has also written string quartet arrangements for his own group and vocalists Claire Martin & Joan Viskant, also the folk group Filska. He composes and arranges for his own groups too.

As a freelance drummer:
Clark has had 35 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 100 albums (13 as a leader) and performed in over 50 countries. He has been awarded "Best Drums" title three times in the British Jazz Awards and received Ronnie Scott's Award for "Best Drums" in 2007. He has endorsements from Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Remo Drumheads.

As an educator:
Clark teaches privately and ensemble tutoring for the Hertfordshire Music Services and has given masterclasses at Leeds College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Musicians' Institute of London, National Drum Fair, the Southport and Cheltenham festivals. He has taught at Bracknell and Havant annual jazz weekend courses, as well as numerous workshops around the UK and overseas, often attached to British Council tours. In 2012 he released an instructional book for Schott Publishing, "Exploring Jazz Drums".

TV - Film - Radio - Stage
Clark has appeared on TV and radio all over the world, but key moments include "Omnibus" (BBC) with his quintet, "Mercury Music Awards" (BBC) with Sting, "Father & Son" (Granada) with own group and Stan Tracey, "The Paradise Club" (ITV), "Ellington's" (ITV), "Call Me Mister" (ITV), "Blue Note's 50th Anniversary Concert" with Tommy Smith at the Montreux Jazz Festival, plus numerous radio broadcasts with his own groups on Radios 2 & 3. In 1999 Clark had a feature in the motion picture "The Talented Mr. Ripley" starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law and he performed on the soundtrack of the motion picture "Alfie" starring Jude Law.

Clark has appeared on stage as an actor/drummer on three occasions; Last Chance Theatre Company's "The Last Connection" for 6 months, "Lady Day" starring Dee Dee Bridgewater for a year and "Lenny" starring Eddie Izzard and directed by Sir Peter Hall for a year.

Current Groups led By Clark Tracey:
Clark Tracey Trio
Clark Tracey Quartet
Clark Tracey Quintet
Clark Tracey's Tribute to Art Blakey

Current Activity