John Clark (musician)

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John Clark
John-clark musician.jpg
Background information
Birth name John Trevor Clark
Born (1944-09-21) September 21, 1944 (age 72)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Origin Rochester, New York
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, Composer, Teacher
Instruments French horn
Labels Hidden Meaning Music

John Clark is an American jazz horn player and composer.


John Clark was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Rochester, New York. In 1966 he received a B.A.from the University of Rochester, where he also studied horn with Verne Reynolds at the Eastman School of Music. From 1967 until 1971 he played in the United States Coast Guard Band. Clark received a M.M. degree (with honors) from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1973. He studied composition and improvisation with Jaki Byard, Ran Blake, and George Russell; and horn with James Stagliano, Thomas Newell, and Paul Ingraham. In 1991 he received a patent for the "hornette," an instrument with the same range as a French Horn but with a forward-facing bell for greater projection. He taught at the State University of New York at Purchase from 2001 until 2008. He is now on faculty at Manhattan School of Music.

Performance work[edit]

As one of only a handful of horn players proficient in non-classical genres, Clark has performed or recorded with a wide variety of musicians. These include Glen Velez, Jerome Harris, Anthony Jackson, Linda Ronstadt, B. B. King, Oliver Lake, Ornette Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Sting, Lew Soloff, David Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Akiko Yano, Leroy Jenkins, Gerry Mulligan, Isaac Hayes, Mike Richmond, Howard Johnson, Carla Bley, Grachan Moncur, Ashford and Simpson, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Pat Metheny, Frank Sinatra, Dave Grusin, John Scofield, Spyro Gyra, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, LL Cool J, Gil Evans and the Gil Evans Orchestra, Joe Lovano, Jaco Pastorius, Paquito D'Rivera, Jim Hall, Rachel Z, Jimmy Heath, Johnny Griffin, Toots Thielemans, John Faddis, Gary Bartz, Billy Joel, the Fugees, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Speculum Musicae, the Aspen Wind Quintet, and the Paul Winter Consort. He has performed as a studio musician for many films, including Mission to Mars, Fargo, and Pocahontas.

Clark plays the Patterson custom descant Horn and uses the AMT (Applied Microphone Technology) microphone systems.


  • 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1982 - Down Beat Critics' Poll winner
  • 1986 - National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Award for Most Valuable Player in Recording Field.
  • 1989 - "Bud & Bird" by Gil Evans & the Monday Night Orchestra won the Grammy for "Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band" - John wrote two numbers and played on the album


As leader[edit]

  • 1980 - Song of Light (Hidden Meaning Music HMM 001)
  • 1981 - Faces (ECM Records 1-1176)
  • 1992 - Il Suono (CMP CD 59)
  • 1997 - I Will (Postcards Records CD 1016)
  • 2003 - Confluence (Hidden Meaning Music HMM 002)

2012 - digital reissue of 'Song of Light' (comcon009)

2015 - 'The Odd Couple Quintet +1' (comcon0022)

2016 - 'Sonus Inenarrabilis (Mulatta Records), works for 9 piece chamber group

As sideman[edit]

With Gil Evans

With Leroy Jenkins

With Dave Grusin

With Billy Harper

With Jimmy Heath

With Joe Lovano

With Bob Stewart

With Sting

With Stanley Turrentine


  • 1993 - Exercises for Jazz French Horn (Hidden Meaning Music)

External links[edit]