David Clark

Professor
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"One summer in high school, I went to a marine biology camp. I realized I wanted to commit my life to music when I found myself more tuned into the records that staff members were playing than marine biology. I couldn't wait to get back to the drums, the piano, Philadelphia radio stations, and my musical friends. But I did love going out into the ocean and diving, and that continues to be an inspiration musically."

"I'm addicted to learning about music—all stages of it. I love stretching to learn something a little bit beyond my conceptual grasp. As a teacher, what I want most is to help students learn more about the music they love. Sometimes this leads them to consider skills and practices they didn't anticipate enjoying. When students feel frustrated over a particular aspect of practicing, and shrink from it, I help them find a way to transform it into something intriguing, even pleasurable. I also share ways of organizing practice routines to help a student get absorbed into practice while maintaining balance among skill areas."

"One of the roles of a teacher is to help students gain a panoramic awareness of music, and what to work on. I try to expand my students' awareness of being part of a rhythm section, which is like the shaman's drum. It's important to develop a rhythmic quality and robustness of sound that ignites the imagination of the performers and listeners, and a groove that has a transformative effect. A common pitfall is to play too busily, instead of understanding one's role within the group. I tell my students that we need to listen beyond our own performances in order to clearly hear and identify with the sound of the whole group."

 

Career Highlights

  • Upright and electric bassist, composer, and producer
  • B.M., M.M., New England Conservatory of Music, Composition
  • Jazz Studies with Richard Davis, Rufus Reid, Michael Moore, Eddie Gomez
  • Performances with John Abercrombie, Ashford and Simpson, Louis Bellson, George Benson, the Boston Pops, Rosemary Clooney, Jimmy Heath, Lee Konitz, Ellis Marsalis, Natalie Merchant, Danny Richmond, Mstislav Rostropovich, Linda Ronstadt, John Scofield, Tierney Sutton, and John Williams
  • Appearances on over 40 albums, including Gunther Schuller, Orange then Blue with George Adams and Howard Johnson, Dick Johnson, Maggie Scott, Didi Stewart, Cercie Miller, Lisa Thorson, Billy Novick, Ed Sainden with Dave Liebman, and Armen Donelian
  • Recipient of National Endowment for the Arts jazz grant, Eunice Shay Award for Outstanding Musical Achievement, and Mass Council for the Arts Award for Jazz Composition