Please Continue Your Uplifting Prayers and Messages

We all know how much Clark treasures his students. He wrote in his book (page 2), “… helping young musicians to make their dreams come true. That became my supreme joy and my greatest aspiration.”

So, you can imagine how happy he was when I told him that one of his youngest students, trumpeter Josh Shpak, won a national audition in the YoungArts competition. He was selected for the jazz performance category of seventeen and eighteen year-olds from a pool of more than seven thousand applicants in various genres. Sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) in their thirty-first year, Josh (currently a freshman at Berklee) will attend master classes and perform with a small ensemble at a gala in Miami this January, hosted by Robert Redford.

Clark said, “I’m so proud of Josh! I love all of my students, and I’m grateful to have participated in their development.” Last month, Josh visited Clark at the hospital and played some stunning solos on his trumpet. He said, “I cannot even describe the importance of what Clark has shown me, things that have made him such an amazing and beautiful musician. My only hope is that I will be able to take even a fraction of what I have learned and apply it to my playing.”

Adding to the many things that have kept Clark’s spirit lifted, members of his beloved quintet flew in recently to share their love with him. Drummer Sylvia Cuenca, pianist Helen Sung, and bassist Marcus McLaurine had been trying since this past summer to coordinate their schedules so that they could arrive at the same time. Clark had the biggest smile on his face and he kept saying, “I just can’t believe you’re all here!”

It was quite an emotional reunion, complete with an incredible solo that Marcus played at Clark’s bedside, accompanied by Sylvia and Helen with hand-held percussion instruments.

Marcus said, “I consider Clark to be my musical father, and I will always be grateful for everything that he has given me.” Sylvia added, “I’m so glad that we could work things out to see Cee Tee. I’ve learned so much from him, and he means a whole lot to me.” Helen replied, “I can’t even begin to explain how special Clark is to me. All I can say is that we love him very, very much, and we’re all praying that he gets well.”

During their visit, the three quintet members gave a swinging, surprise performance for a celebration of Clark’s autobiography at Garbo Hearne’s Fine Art Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Everyone wished that Clark could have been there, but we honored his request to represent him. There was standing room only at the event, including a guest appearance by Michael Chukes, whose magical art and sculpture exhibit had been unveiled at the gallery recently. During an emotional statement, he said, “Clark has always been a huge inspiration for me. When I work, I listen to his music.”

Just days before the arrival of his quintet members, Clark was serenaded by his cousin, Zela Terry, with an awesome solo. She plays principal cello in France for the Nice Symphony Orchestra. Her sister Teri Terry-Renty came from California to sing some soul-stirring spirituals for him, and her son Elisha accompanied them with brushes on a snare drum. Clark said, “This is such a gas! All I can say is, thank God.”

When they asked how he’s been feeling, he answered, “I’m doing all that I can do to hold on, and it sure helps to have all of this amazing music and love.”

We thank all of you who have posted your heartfelt well wishes and prayers on his website, and we appreciate the writers who have published such positive book reviews for his autobiography. His personal message is, “I’m very grateful to everyone who did those nice things for me.”

He hasn’t been able to continue his physical therapy as we all had hoped, but he has gained a few pounds since being upgraded to solid foods, including some of his favorites like garlic chicken legs. Dr. Simmie Armstrong said, “Although Clark has overcome many serious health challenges, new obstacles have prevented his release from the hospital.”

As we approach his 91st birthday, please continue your uplifting prayers and messages.

Blessings and love to all,

| general | 17 Comments

17 Responses to Please Continue Your Uplifting Prayers and Messages

  1. Kirsten Ficklin says:

    Dear Ms. Gwen and Mr. Terry, I hope for continued recovery…love his talent!!

  2. Fabian Acuna says:

    Hey Clark and Gwen,
    Glad to hear that Clark has been feeling a lot better but i shall not stop praying for him. So glads to hear all the wonderful stories that Clark has been getting through his surprises of amazing people. I hope to hear plenty more amazing stories of family and friends surprise visiting him (which I know will be likely).
    I wish you, Gwen, and Clark all the best. Will always be in my heart

    Fabian Acuna

  3. Valerie Bishop says:

    just to let you and Gwen know that i’m still sending strong prayers your way. and you wouldn’t believe how often your names are on people’s tongues as well as in their thoughts and prayers. just the other day, i saw your niece, Teri, again at a Harmony Project rehearsal. and this time i also got to hang a bit with Lesa as well. of course, we talked about you folks a lot. your ears should have been burning! we’ve also hooked up a friend’s 13-year old daughter to have some violin (and life) lessons with Lesa! what a blessing. and here’s to many more blessings coming your way, beautiful Gwen and Clark!! big hugs and lots of love. xoxo

  4. Paul Neveu says:

    hi Clark — You have touched the lives of so many people and musicians over the years… especially through the work you have done with colleges and universities, jazz camps and performance across the U.S. Just wanted to send you thoughts and prayers from your many friends at the University of New Hampshire. We hope you feel better soon and can get back out there. On behalf of Tom Corso, big Frank Cushing and myself, we send our thoughts and love! – Paul Neveu, Exeter, NH

  5. Chris Clark says:

    Dear Clark: Tom Smith of Columbus, Ohio wanted you to know he Google searches you every day to check on you. Because of Tom, I was able to attend the dedication concert of the Clark Terry Archive at William Paterson, and you signed your Carol Sloane CD for me. We hope you get well soon. You mean so much to so many people. Sincerely, Chris Clark, Lawrenceville, New Jersey

  6. Dear Mr. Terry
    You are right up there with Basie, Ellington, Satchmo and the rest. You’ve always been an inspiration for me and I have always enjoyed and marveled at your music. You will get well and no doubt live forever. God bless you.

  7. Lots of love for all of your musician friends and fans in Vancouver. Riina and I along with all my students send you our love and best wishes. I think of you everyday when I open my trumpet case and I’m so glad that you’re the recipient of so much love at this time. You have given all of us in the musical community so much and you continue to inspire us to be the best people and musicians that we can be!

  8. andy duran says:

    Hello dear master Clark. I hope you get well soon, you have been an inspiration to me and too many. All the best maestro.
    Andy Duran

  9. CT – I love you with all my heart. Without you, no me!

  10. Deborah Weisz says:

    When I think about swing, I think about Clark Terry…
    When I think about beautiful melodies, I think about Clark Terry…
    When I think about someone who is truly an unconditionally loving and giving human being, I think about Clark Terry…

    Your artistry & humanity has inspired me all of my musical life, and I share that inspiration with my students. They all know about you Clark.

    I too remember the back deck of the S.S. Norway, when you & Joe Williams sat in with us (Diva). What an amazing experience!

    Sending you & your family thoughts of health, healing & lots of music.
    With love & tremendous respect,
    Deborah Weisz

  11. Jami Dauber says:

    Sherrie’s drum throne is waiting for you. Hee hee. (I KNOW you know what that means!!!)

    CLARK – you know how much you mean to me – you have been the biggest influence on my playing. I will NEVER forget that time at the Vanguard when you offered your horn to me – I can’t believe I actually got to play your horn (with your mouthpiece!!) and then “you know who” cut the tune short, saying it wasn’t a jam session.

    I have been and will always be incredibly grateful for your graciousness, your talent (and recordings that began influencing my playing many, many years before I ever met you), trading fours with you on the back deck of the Norway with DIVA in 1995 (or was it 1996?) – (Champian Fulton was there, a mere child at the time! haha!) – one of my most favorite memories. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, CT!!!

    And Gwen – you are an angel, we know this is an extraordinarily tough time for you, as well, and you know that everyone is sending all of their positive thoughts and prayers to YOU, TOO!!!

    LOVE YOU MADLY, Clark.

  12. Chukes says:

    Without your MUSIC there is no ART!

  13. Sheila B. says:

    Dear Uncle CT

    Each morning when my feet touch the floor my morning prayer is for you. Each evening before I rest my head my prayers are for you..Seeing you a few weeks ago I truly felt blessed to hold your hand. The positive energy that I felt and your strong grip gave me the peace in my heart that some people may never feel. Your love is certainly strength to me. GOD is still in the blessing business just as he was thousands of years ago and with that I’m truly blessed to have you in my life.

    May GOD continue to open the windows of heaven and pour upon you an abundant of healing blessings. YOU ARE MY SHINNING STAR UNCLE CT.

  14. Michael ("Migueligans") Miller says:

    This is my prayer…

    May all the miracles that brought Clark into the lives of so many in this world now come together and bring Clark back to health!

    We’re all cheering for you, Clark, and sending oodles (and doodles) of love…


  15. Valerie Bishop says:

    so glad to hear about all these wonderful visits from loved ones. i met Teri Terry, her son and husband at a Harmony Project rehearsal in L.A. recently and knew that their visit was going to happen that next week. i was so happy to meet them and of course we shared words of our love for C.T.
    my prayers and love continue for both of you. big, warm hugs are thrown in there as well.

  16. Jessica says:

    Sending my best thoughts and prayers to Mr. Terry. I’ve been a fan since I first saw him when I was 15 or 16 years old. His music has been a staple of my musical diet for most of my life. I love you, Clark!

  17. John Hill says:

    Looking to hear your beautiful flugel sound soon! Get well Mr. Terry! Wishing you a fast recovery. – John Hill