All The Love

Clark is home! His primary care physician, Dr. Simmie Armstrong, arranged for him to have professional physical therapy for five days a week here at home, along with homecare visits from nurses three times a week. The amputation site on his left leg is healing, and the right one is completely well. He’s experiencing some pain, but other than that, he said, “It gets pretty tough sometimes, but I’m hanging on in there. And I’m thanking Big Prez (his nickname for God) for every day.”

He was talking on the phone with one of his friends who expressed how sorry he was that Clark had gone through so much – losing his legs and all. Clark responded, “Don’t worry, just keep pulling for me.”

On one of his particularly challenging days, I asked what would help him to feel better. He said, “Love. All the love from you and everybody. It makes me feel like you all still need me.”

You can see how much you mean to him. Each message that you post, and all of your prayers, phone calls, cards, and visits have helped to give him the courage to “keep on keepin’ on.” We appreciate you all so very much, and we hope that you’ll stay in touch.

His friend Bob Montgomery came from Denver to visit. Between doses of Clark’s pain medication, they talked about Clark’s book, reminisced about their road trips when Bob played trumpet in Clark’s Big Bad Band, and the years that Bob organized, supervised and participated in the Clark Terry Jazz Camps that were held in Oklahoma and Kansas.

Bob said, “I remember those long bus rides when I was in his band. I sat across the aisle from him, and when I’d doze off, he’d wake me up so we could talk. I loved traveling with him. He told some great stories, and a lot of them are in his autobiography. It’s a great book!”

I left them alone for a while, and when I went back to see if they needed anything, Bob and Clark were all smiles. Bob said, “He sang all of the words to ‘Squeeze Me,’ and he was buzzing a little (a lip-vibration exercise for strengthening chops). He went on to say, “Clark still has a perfect embouchure, and his mind is as sharp as ever.” For more information about Bob, please visit:

Here’s a photo (left to right) of Bob, Clark and Quincy Cavers who is one of Clark’s students, a travel assistant, and one of his home health aides.

When Clark is able, he’s looking forward to teaching his students in person and via Skype. Last September, prior to the barrage of challenges with his legs, he enjoyed giving his first Skype lesson to a student in Australia. He said, “That computer is something else, man! I was here and he was there. A real talented kid. Plays trumpet. He learned how to ‘doodle-tongue’ in thirty minutes. It was great!”

Clark is getting stronger daily, and we are forever grateful for your love. Please keep him in your prayers.


| general | 23 Comments

23 Responses to All The Love

  1. Al Rearick says:

    God continue to bless you, Clark Terry! It seems like I’ve been listening to a lot of your work lately (Gary McFarland & Co. TIJUANA JAZZ (love that cover), with Chico O’Farrill SPANISH RICE and NINE FLAGS, on Ed Thigpen’s OUT OF THE STORM, some Duke Ellington, etc). Man, you never fail to put a smile on my face!

    Thank you Gwen for keeping us updated!

  2. Justin Vargo says:

    Dear Mr. Terry,

    I’m glad to read that you are home again and on the road to recovery. The Van Dyke looks good! Keep on keepin’ on.

  3. Barrie W. Mizerski says:

    Dear Clark: Prayers from both my wife and myself for you. Ever since you taught me circular breathing at a concert at NYU in 1966 you have been part of my life every day. God bless you and your family. Barrie and Linda Mizerski

  4. Diane E French says:

    Much Love to you Mr Terry…..We don’t know each other but I recently learned years ago my great uncle played with you and you sent a message to his funeral, his name Timothy Jones of Chicago Illinois…he played clarinet. I was touched that you not only remembered him but sent your regards…wishing you God’s speed on your recovery…

    Diane E French

  5. Michael Packard says:

    So wonderful to hear of you progress…You need to get one of those Warburton P.E.T.E.’s to help get that lip back in shape. Then break out the horn and all the “good” trumpet players around will, once again, start fearing they will be replaced!!! lol!

  6. Pete Hittle says:

    Mr. Terry,
    I’m so pleased to hear that you’re home! God bless…and NEVER EVER think “we don’t need you…” You are EVERY Jazz musicians “guiding light…” Your influence can never be underestimated…Every time I work with a young player…that influence is there….passed from you to me to them…Take care!!

  7. Dear Clark,
    How wonderful to see the photo of you, Bob and Quincy. It was so great to talk to you recently and I think of you everyday-always when I get the horn out of the case. As always, you are such and inspiration and I’m glad to hear you’re getting the buzz going with the chops. Getting on the horn won’t be long, now. You’ve got so many of those beautiful notes with which to grace the world!
    Love, Alan

  8. Luvenia A. George says:

    Dear Clark: To the World’s Greatest Trumpeter…..ever:
    I’m former public school music teacher who met you at an MENC convention years ago; (I don’t even remember where it was). You were so kind when I talked to you about jazz & jazz history. You were going to be in DC & offered to come to the junior high school where I taught and play and talk to the kids at an assembly! But…my principal thought it would disturb the school. Imagine! But I love you for it! God bless you; you’re on my “prayer list.” And…I do know that God is good! You’ll be OK! Your friend in spirit! Luvenia George

  9. Michael "Migueligans" Miller says:

    Dear Clark…

    It makes me smile to hear your voice sounding stronger and stronger every time I talk to you lately, Clark!

    Through your music and your heart, you have touched the lives of so many people, and it’s now so beautiful to see so many people coming together to share the healing power of love with you!

    Josh, Noah and I send so much love your way and we are cheering you on eternally. You can bet your sweet bippy on that!

    Love you lots,…and all that jazz,

    Michael, Josh and Noah

  10. Sheila and Accura says:

    Dearest Uncle CT,
    I am always in awe of your will and tenacity! You are certainly one of my heroes. You have certainly, given me the strength to run on and see what the end will bring for me.From the look of your picture and hearing your voice on the phone I know for sure my prayers to “big Prez” reached the mark.

    Uncle CT I am sorry I can’t be there with you each and everyday, but I want you to know and understand that from the bottom of my heart. I LOVE YOU AND THINK ABOUT YOU ALL THE TIME! You make my heart sing, you really made and make me laugh. Your jokes and the way you tell a story always intrigued me to say the least. I know that GOD has sent his band of angels to watch over and carry you to this point.

    And on the next shift change of the Angels, you will continue to be surrounded “first Class style.” In closing I hope to see you soon and I have weathered the storm, literally. My dog and I are officially back home.After a year.The tornado in St. Louis, Mo. from last year’s Good Friday couldn’t keep me down. And you have set the pace for me to “keep on Keeping on” no matter what the storm may bring.

    I love and miss you,
    Peace unto you,
    Sheila and Accura (woof)

  11. Zachary Androus says:

    Dear Mr. Terry, I had never heard your name before you were a guest at a University of Montana Jazz festival in the 1990s. I attended your performance and was profoundly struck by the quality of your tone. I have never heard any horn played with such expressiveness, before or since. And everything about the way you handled the performance seemed to say to me ‘here’s a real sweet guy.’ Since then I’ve come to know your music better and I’m so very grateful for everything that you’ve given the world. Keep on keepin’ on! We love you!

  12. Alex Kundakcioglu says:

    Mr. Terry, you are an inspiration and a mentor to us all. I forever have your sound in my head when I am playing both trumpet and flugel. I had the honor and incredible good fortune to play with you in Jim Galloway’s big band when you were at the Toronto Jazz Festival. The entire musical community is pulling for you Clark – All the very best to you sir.

  13. Luis Juarez says:

    Hey Clark, you have always been
    a great inspiration to me and many!! God bless you and take care!!

  14. Céline Peterson says:

    I was so happy to talk to you a few nights ago – and can’t wait to call and speak to you again! You sound like you’re doing better and I am happy to hear about all the positive news and happiness as always!
    I love you! xoxo

  15. mc says:

    all my best wishes to both of you!
    team Terry shall win all!

    you are an inspiration, we send you all the positive vibes in the universe!

    we love you

    mc & family in Paris

  16. Marty Bound says:

    Hi Clark,
    I own at least 50 albums you are on and I listen to cut or two at least everyday. Your sheer love and compassion comes through on every quarter note. I was at DePaul University during the late 90’s when you had done a record date with the band and masterclasses. I want to thank you not only for the lessons at that time but the everyday lessons of your continued fight. Keep on keepin on and continue your fight and inspiration to all who know and know of you.

  17. Paul Bennett says:

    I send you ALL my best wishes and hope you have a speedy recovery. May I also thank you for all the absolute pleasure you have given me over the years listening to your music. Mr Clark Terry, you are a jazz legend!!!

  18. Brian O'Kane says:

    All the best to you, Mr. Terry, from one of many huge fans here in Toronto. You have brought so much joy to so many… you are in our thoughts and prayers.
    We are all pulling for you!

  19. Guy Terry says:

    Looking Good “Brother Terry!” (as you once called me about 20 years ago). Especially glad to hear that you’re getting set up with the physical therapists so quickly. My physical therapy work reminds me every day of my music teaching experience back in the day…make sure you do your homework!

  20. Mike C. says:

    You’re in my thoughts most every day: I listen to your recordings regularly and they are a constant source of wonder and inspiration!