Legendary jazz trumpeter Clark Terry dies

Regarded as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters ever, and one of a select few who played in both Count Basie and Duke Ellington’s Orchestras, Clark Terry has died aged 94.

Trumpeter Clark Terry has died aged 94. He is regarded as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters ever and one of a select few who played in both Count Basie and Duke Ellington’s Orchestras. 

Terry’s wife Gwen posted on Facebook, ”Our beloved Clark Terry has joined the big band in heaven where he'll be singing and playing with the angels. He left us peacefully, surrounded by his family, students and friends. Clark has known and played with so many amazing people in his life. He has found great joy in his friendships and his greatest passion was spending time with his students. We will miss him every minute of every day, but he will live on through the beautiful music and positivity that he gave to the world. Clark will live in our hearts forever."

In 2010 he was given the Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award for his immense contribution to jazz. He was born in St Louis and enjoyed a career spanning over seven decades as player, band leader and educator. As well as Basie and Ellington he collaborated with Quincy Jones, Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk and Oscar Peterson. He was also known to mainstream American television audiences through his work with the band on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Quincy Jones idolises Terry and Dizzy Gillespie claimed he was his favourite trumpeter.

Clark Terry was a passionate and keen music educator. A recent documentary ‘Keep On Keepin’ On’ is an endearing account of his mentorship of young blind pianist Justin Kauflin. The film was produced by Terry’s former student Quincy Jones, who produced Kauflin's latest album 'Dedication', and it made the Academy shortlist for ‘Best Documentary’.

Clark Terry with Oscar Peterson in Finland, 1965.

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