Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mike Clark Clinic at PSU! Success!

I'm posting some videos from the Mike Clark clinic we had here at Portland State University which took place back on October 8th. The event, as well as the performance at Jimmy Mak's in the evening, was a raging success. Clark happened to be on the West Coast, so we were able to work this into his schedule. It was great to hear a legend play the drums, but it was also informative to hear philosophizing on music, grooves, techniques, the business, and everything in between. I think the most surprising thing to many was Clark's prowess as a jazz drummer; most folks are more familiar with his substantial contribution in the funk/fusion realm on the Herbie Hancock recordings such as "Thrust" and "Flood." But don't be fooled; Clark can swing his butt off, and is probably more of a jazz drummer at heart.

I felt that this was a great opportunity for two of our top students to perform with a legend; tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover and bassist Jon Lakey did an outstanding job. We played some standard material and some McCoy Tyner tunes. I had given Lakey and Glover a chart on Hancock's "Actual Proof," although Clark had insisted that he would prefer to steer clear of those tunes. However, towards the end of the clinic, Clark asked if we could try the tune. We hadn't rehearsed it, and I don't even know if my students had practiced it on their own, but nevertheless, they did a more than respectable job. We gave it another shot during the gig at Jimmy Mak's, which was met with much acclaim.

Enjoy the videos! We hope to do more clinics throughout the year.

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