“Really? Read it again!” That was Clark’s response when I read a list of more than fifty stellar musicians who will perform at a fundraiser to help defray medical expenses for him. The event is on next Monday, April 23rd, 7:00 p.m., at Saint Peter’s Church in Manhattan. The address is 619 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022, and the suggested donation is $25 at the door.
This exciting concert is being produced by the Saint Peter’s Jazz Ministry, International Women in Jazz, the Duke Ellington Society, the Jazz Foundation of America, Clark’s musician friends, dozens of volunteers, and me. We are extremely grateful to everyone for their love, prayers and support.
We truly appreciate The Jazz Foundation of America for helping us with the astromonical expenses for 24-hour healthcare that Clark needs here at home. JFA is truly a God-send! If you aren’t able to attend the fundraiser, and would like to make a donation, you may write a check with “Clark Terry Account” on the memo line, and mail your donation to: Jazz Foundation of America, 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY 10036. Or if you’d like to donate online, please use the following JFA link: http://jazzfoundation.org/memory_honor
David Demsey is here visiting Clark at home. David is the emcee for the upcoming concert, and one of the performing musicians. He said, “This list reads like a “Who’s Who” in Jazz! It’s absolutely incredible!” Dr. D.D. (Clark’s nickname for him) is Coordinator of Jazz Studies at William Paterson University, and Curator of the William Paterson Living Jazz Archives, which contains The Clark Terry Archive, along with archives of Thad Jones and James Williams. David also wrote the Introduction in Clark’s autobiography. For more information about David, please click here.
After the third time that I read the list to Clark – his musician friends who are donating their performances for his fundraiser – he said, “Man, that’s beautiful! I feel so fortunate.” When he and David talked more about it, Clark said, “I wish I could be there in person, but I’ll be there.” We’re both planning to make a brief appearance via Skype during the event.
The outpouring of love from his friends on the list has lifted Clark’s spirit so much that his appetite has returned. He’s now gaining some of the weight that he’d lost while taking pain medication during recent months. I’m happy to report that his pain has diminished.
The beloved musicians who are donating their performance for next Monday’s concert include: Clifford Adams, Jr., Carl Allen, Lisle Atkinson, Art Baron, Gene Bertoncini, Valerie Capers, Paquito D’Rivera, Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Sylvia Cuenca, Dee Daniels, Bryan Davis, David Demsey, Lou Donaldson, Mark Elf, Essiet Essiet, Don Friedman, Greg Gisbert, Dave Glasser, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Winard Harper, Barry Harris, Louis Hayes, Jimmy Heath, Conrad Herwig, Jack Jeffers, Melba Joyce, Justin Kauflin, Stantawn Kendrick, Bob Kindred, Victor Lewis, Tony Lujan, Russell Malone, Sarah McLawler, Marcus McLaurine, Junior Mance, Mulgrew Miller, Shawnn Monteiro, Frank Owens, Jimmy Owens, Jeremy Pelt, Anne Phillips, Rufus Reid, Bill Saxton, Josh Shpak, Don Sickler, Norman Simmons, John Simon, Lew Soloff, Helen Sung, Frank Wess, and the list is still growing. There will be surprise guests, too!
For more information, please click to see the flyer.
I’ve read him all of your messages on his website, and he always loves hearing them. He said, “Sometimes, when I’m not feeling my best, I think about how everybody is still pulling for me, and it helps me to feel better. I thank everybody, and I thank God!”
Recently, Clark went for a follow-up visit with his vascular surgeon, Dr. Heather LeBlanc. She said, “The amputation sight on his right leg (mid-thigh) has healed completely, and the left one (above the knee) is doing fantastically well.” Primary care physician, Dr. Simmie Armstrong, is also pleased with Clark’s progress. He said, “We still have to focus on protection, and no infection.”
Clark’s physical therapist works with him five times a week here at home, and visiting nurses are attending his left leg wound three times a week. He said, “They’ve been telling me that things are cooling out. It’s been a long journey with ‘strange changes.’ I’ve had some good days and some bad days, but I’m glad to still have days.”
Jon Faddis came to spend some time with Clark, while in Arkansas for a clinic and concert at Central High School in Little Rock. They spent quite a while together, laughing, reminiscing and discussing Clark’s book. Jon said, “I loved your book! When I read the passage where you talked about one of the albums that we did together – Take Double – I wondered if you remembered those slippery wings on that plane when we did the photo shoot for the cover? They had to put rubber strips on the bottoms of our shoes to keep us from sliding off.” Clark laughed and said, “I had forgotten about the rubber strips.” For more information about Jon Faddis, please click here.
During David Demsey’s visit, they discussed the newly released Terry Tunes book which is a compilation of some of Clark’s compositions, information on Clark’s “doodle-tonguing” technique, and more. They worked on this book for many years, along with Stjepko Gut and others, and they’ve gotten some wonderful comments about it. Visit the Terry Tunes page for more info.
As Clark and David discussed the Clark Terry Archive at WPU, David reported, “We’re excited about the archive website! We’re working hard to get it done, and it’s going to be great. We’ve got some incredible photos that can give you the feeling that you’re there in person.” As soon as the website is completed, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Later, they talked about the Skype lessons for which Clark is preparing. He asked for his trumpet and said, “I’m having a little arthritis trouble with my hands, but I’m doing my best.” Below is a photo of Clark and David.
Clark and I thank you all so much for your kindness and encouragement. Although it’s been quite challenging, he’s come a long way, and your love has played an integral part.
Blessings and love,