That’s Beautiful!

“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:

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.

Jon Faddis and Clark

Jon Faddis and Clark. (photo by Quincy Cavers)

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 Dr D.D. (photo by Quincy Cavers)

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,

| general | 31 Comments

31 Responses to That’s Beautiful!

  1. Hello Clark,

    Really wish we could be in St Peter’s Church today. Zoe and I are thinking of you and hope to see you soon.

    Much love from across the pond and keep on, keeping on,
    Heather and Zoe

    • Ronald Carter says:

      Hello CT and Family,
      Wishing you the best! You will always be my hero and inspiration! You are conatantly in my prayers!
      God Bless and Keep you,
      Ronald Carter
      Northern Illinois University
      DeKalb, IL

  2. Chip Benson says:

    Hello Mr Clark Terry,

    I’m just a long time fan of the Duke Ellington Band and I came across the NYC benefit in your honor–love your music and want to thank you for all of it. Please feel better and know that you are in many a musical heart:-)

    Love Chip B

  3. Tom Rizzo says:

    There’s no way we can tell you how much your music and your humongous spirit have meant in our lives. You know our father loved you so much, and the time we spent with you in DC was one of the most memorable & magical of our lives. If we can’t hear you blow on “Solitude” and “Just For a Thrill” every day, that ain’t a good day. Sending our love & best wishes for your health. Philly & Tom Rizzo (Phil’s sons)

  4. Joe Sudler says:

    Hi Clark- It has been a long time man since
    We saw each other. Can you believe that it has
    Been 30 years since we made an CD together?
    God Bless you man.

    Joe Sudler

  5. The greatest instructional brass-playing information I’ve ever received in my life; for only the price of a ticket to the finest jazz-combo performance I’ve ever heard, with solist Clark Terry. At Tilles Center, where I also often perform, with my wife during the intermission, Clark had the door of his room opened. Only having peeked-in, he extended an invitation. Hardly able to speak from being granted such a privilage, I mentioned, ‘I saw you breathe at the beginning of the concert, and that was about it!’ Clark repied, “I circular breathe; I’ll show you.” I recall being frozen like a statue, listening and watching in a more acute manner than I ever thought I was capable of. All of that remarkable information in only 10 minutes! It took me more than 10 years to get-it-down, but the experience has changed my life in countless ways. I have always been a great fan of yours, Clark Terry, as is the entire world far beyond our jazz community. Musically yours, Frank

  6. Michael "Migueligans" Miller says:

    Dear Clark,

    How wonderful to know that you’re tooting again (from your trumpet, I mean!) The world is, by far, a better place when you have a horn in your hands. Keep your magnificent music comin’,and know that there are millions – actually, bazillions – cheering you on!!

    Josh is so excited to be playing for you in New York on Monday!

    Lots of love, as always, to you and Gwen from “The California Trio”…

    Michael, Josh & Noah

  7. C.T. – words cannot express my gratitude to you for your life long inspiration. You have lived “The Brotherhood of Man.” Pulling and praying for you, Clark. Thank you for all that you’ve done for me and for the thousands of other lives you’ve touched. Peace, Mike

  8. claude carriere says:

    I don’t spend a day without listening your wonderful music and reminiscing the beautiful moments we spent together in Paris, Nice, New York, Juan les Pins…!

    love and a big hug from Paris


  9. claude carriere says:

    Hello Clark ! I don’t spend a day without listening to your wonderful music and reminiscing the beautiful days we spent together in Paris, Nice, Juan les Pins,New York…etc…
    Love from Paris

  10. Glad to hear of so much support for you, Clark Terry. Kenny Burrell posted your info on Facebook. It’s great you have such dear friends. I’m praying that the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ strengthens you, gives you joy and strength to continue to be the inspiration you are. Play on, brother.

  11. Angela Roffle says:

    Prayers for your continued recovery. My mother and her friends listened to your music. Thank you for bringing joy to their lives. You are awesome! My daughter was influenced by your music, even though she decided to play the saxophone. You’ve touched my family with your great music and I am grateful. Please continue to gett well Mr. Terry. God bless you.

  12. To add an aural element to that wonderful photo of Clark back with his horn again – practically the first thing that came out of the horn was this beautiful long tone, with that trademark magnificent vibrato – and circular breathing! He says it will be a “long road back,” but his idea of a long road is a lot of peoples’ idea of close to perfection.

    As part of my proud role with the Clark Terry Archive at William Paterson, I’ve been here for almost two weeks – magic! It’s been such a joy to work with Clark and Gwen on his archive materials, and to see Clark gain strength every day. This has been the latest of many life-changing experiences I’ve had with Clark – he’s a miracle!

  13. yvette Chamberlin says:

    You are a super man Clark !!! All your french friends love you ! Yvette.

  14. glenn bengry says:


    In the brotherhood and sisterhood of trumpet players, you are the big brother. The affection we have for you and the appreciation we have for mentoring us is without measure. We’re all tickled to have you on the mend and still full of that spirit. As a student of your old friend Billy Horner I take inspiration from your example every day I pick up my horn to do that thing we do.

    with great affection

    glenn bengry

  15. DONNA SHARP says:

    I remember on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show BAND I worked at NBC…You were always a FABULOUS Trumpet man. I hope you recover and are doing well. Blessings to you..xoxo


  16. Lynn Moore says:

    Just a suggestion… As a part of the fundraising efforts for Mr. Terry, it would be great if someone were to set up a secure “Donation” button on the web site. Then those of us who can’t attend the fundraiser could make a contribution directly to Mr Terry or his medical expense fund. Wishing all the best to a great musician.

  17. Liz Wiley says:

    You have so many fans and friends pulling for you in St. Louis! We love you, Clark!!

  18. Valerie Bishop says:

    i can see the improvement in Clark’s health from the pictures above! and i think the weight gain is starting to show as well! wish i could attend the Benefit/Tribute but the 3,000 miles is a bit too far to travel right now. i will, however, participate regardless.

    i’m sure Clark knows that the inspiration and encouragement work both ways, as Celine mentioned. both of you, through your incredible challenges, spirit, attitude and love, have uplifted many. we all continue to do our best.

    hugs, love and blessings to two amazing people. and that’s an under-statement!!


  19. We would like to go there but… any way, all the best from Bilbao(Spain). We love you Clark!!

  20. Céline Peterson says:

    I have tears in my eyes from seeing you with your horn again! I am so happy to see that and hear that you are doing so well! I am thinking about you every day and every day I walk past the picture of the two of us from my visit a few years ago (the only picture in my apartment besides a poster by the way) and it makes me smile and gives me the strength to go out and do my best in whatever I have to do that day. You are always with me!

    I love you and I will speak to you soon!
    Love, Céline