Clark grew up in a jazz environment as the son of Stan Tracey CBE, the UK's leading jazz pianist, and from an early age took to the piano and vibraphones. At 13 he started playing the drums and he turned professional at 17 in 1978 by joining his father's various ensembles, from trio to orchestra up to the present day. Within that context he has toured worldwide and recorded extensively. In 2001 Clark began his own record company, Tentoten Records and in 2007 he formed Resteamed Records, a label dedicated to his father's works.
As a leader
In 1981 he formed the first of his own groups with Django Bates, & Iain Ballamy. Later groups included Guy Barker, Nigel Hitchcock, Dave O'Higgins, Mark Nightingale, Mornington Lockett, Julian Arguelles, Gerard Presencer, Alec Dankworth, Simon Allen and Zoe Rahman, Lewis Wright and Kit Downes. His latest band of luminaries features Reuben James and Henry Armburg Jennings.
As a composer
He has received commissions for his quintet, an octet called "Bootleg Eric" shared with pianist Dave Newton, "Continental Drift" (an 11 piece band co-composed with Stan Tracey and commissioned by The Arts Council), and composed for the Berkshire Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Appleby Festival big band. He has also written string quartet arrangements for his own group and vocalists Claire Martin & Joan Viskant, also the folk group Filska. He composes and arranges for his own groups too.
As a freelance drummer
Clark has had 30 years' experience playing alongside some of the most important artists in jazz at home and abroad. Some of the most significant unions with American artists have been with Johnny Griffin, Pharaoh Sanders, John Hicks, George Cables, Bud Shank, Red Rodney, and Scott Hamilton. British artists include names such as Ronnie Scott, John Surman, Alan Skidmore, Kenny Wheeler, Alan Barnes, Don Weller and Tommy Smith. He has recorded over 90 albums (11 as a leader) and performed in over 50 countries. He has been awarded "Best Drums" title three times in the British Jazz Awards and Ronnie Scott's Award for "Best Drums" in 2007. He has received endorsements from Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Sticks and Remo Drumheads.
As an educator
Clark has given master classes at Leeds College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Musicians' Institute of London, Bracknell jazz weekends courses, the Southport and Cheltenham jazz festivals as well as numerous workshops around the UK, and overseas attached to British Council tours. He is a drum tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire, the Purcell School of Music and also works for Bucks Music Services. In 2012 he wrote an intermediate level instructional book for Schott Publishing, "Exploring Jazz Drums".
TV - Film - Radio - Stage Clark has appeared on tv and radio all over the world, but key moments include "Omnibus" (BBC) with his quintet, "Mercury Music Awards" (BBC) with Sting, "Father & Son" (ITV) with own group and Stan Tracey, "The Paradise Club" (ITV), "Ellington's" (ITV), "Call Me Mister" (ITV), "Blue Note's 50th Anniversary Concert" with Tommy Smith at the Montreux Jazz Festival, plus numerous radio broadcasts with his own groups on Radios 2 & 3. In 1999 Clark had a feature in the motion picture "The Talented Mr. Ripley" starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law and he performed on the soundtrack of the motion picture "Alfie" starring Jude Law.
Clark has appeared on stage as an actor/drummer on three occasions; Last Chance Theatre Company's "The Last Connection" for 6 months, "Lady Day" starring Dee Dee Bridgewater for a year and "Lenny" starring Eddie Izzard and directed by Sir Peter Hall for a year.
Current Groups led By Clark Tracey
Clark Tracey Trio
Clark Tracey Quartet
Clark Tracey Quintet
Clark Tracey's Tribute to Art Blakey
International Artists Accompanied
Reeds : Harry Allen, Benny Bailey, Dale Barlow, Joshua Breakstone, Jesse Davis, Nathan Davis, Teddy Edwards, Herb Geller, Johnny Griffin, Scott Hamilton, Michael Hashim, Benjamin Herman, Red Holloway, Plas Johnson, Harold Land, Yank Lawson, Brad Leali,Charles McPherson, Turk Mauro, Lanny Morgan, Bob Mover, Jack Nimitz, Sal Nistico, Ken Peplowski, Jerome Richardson, Charlie Rouse, Pharoah Sanders, Tad Schull, Roman Schwaller, Gary Scott, Bud Shank, Lew Tabackin, Mike Tracy, Pietro Tonolo, Norris Turney, Benny Waters, Bobby Watson, Bob Wilbur, Rickey Woodard
Trumpet : Bill Berry, Randy Brecker, Conte Candoli, Pete Candoli, Harry Sweets Edison, Art Farmer, Dusko Goycovich, Tony Lujan, Don Menza, Valery Ponomarev, Red Rodney, Shorty Rogers, Bobby Shew, Warren Vache
Trombone : Buster Cooper, Steve Davis, Joel Helleny, Conrad Herwig, Frank Lacy, George Masso, Bart Van Lier, Jiggs Whiggam Guitar Ron Affif, Howard Alden, Al Casey, Tal Farlow, Vic Juris, Barney Kessell, Bireli Lagrene, Mundell Lowe, Babik Reinhardt, Herb Ellis
Piano/Organ George Cables, Phil DeGregg, Garry Dial, John Hicks, Per Husby, Roger Kellaway, Keiko Lee, Romano Mussolini, Walter Norris, Herve Sellin, Jimmy Smith, James Williams, Rob Van Den Broek
Vocals : Dee Dee Bridgewater, Lea Delaria, Billy Eckstine, Slim Gaillard, Adelaide Hall, Karin Krog, Mark Murphy, Marlene Verplank Bass Arild Andersen, Pierre Boussanger, Furio Di Castri, Neil Swainson, Jimmy Woode, Ali Haurand
Peter Appleyard, Ray Alexander, Kenny Daverne, Buddy DeFranco, Hugh Fraser, Terry Gibbs, Peanuts Hucko, Howard Johnson, Tony Scott
UK Musicians Accompanied (selection)
Ronnie Scott, Martin Taylor, Andy Shepherd, Jason Rebello, Sting, Sinead O'Connor, Tommy Smith, Humphrey Lyttleton, John Surman, John Taylor, Julian Joseph, Norma Winstone, Kenny Baker, Elaine Delmar, Claire Martin, Peter King, Dick Morrissey, Don Weller, John Dankworth, Alan Skidmore, Mike Gibbs, Kenny Wheeler
Countries Performed In
Algeria, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Crete, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eire, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Rhodes, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen