Terry Clarke (drummer) was born in 1944, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He began displaying rhythmic aptitude at a very early age, and was just 12 years old when he began studying formally with noted drum teache and author, Jim Blackley, Blackley was, and remains, a primary figure in Clarke’s continuing development as a musician.
In 1965, Clarke moved to San Francisco to work with the legendary saxophonist, John Handy III. He performed with Handy for the next two and a half years, during which time the Grammy nominated recording, Live at The Monterey Jazz Festival (Columbia-1966) was made. Following the John Handy experience (which included Terry’s long-time musical collaborator and friend, Don Thompson), Clarke began building his reputation for versatility by joining the world-famous pop vocal group, “The Fifth Dimension” at the height of their popularity, travelling and performed extensively with them throughout the U.S.A., Canada and Europe.
Clarke left “The Fifth Dimension” in 1970, subsequently relocating to Toronto where, for the next 15, he played an abundance of jazz in all styles, and established himself as a major figure in Toronto’s then considerable studio scene. Countless television shows, jingles and recording dates were his mainstay, as well performances in legendary Toronto jazz clubs including “George’s Spaghettti House”, “Bourbon Street”, and “Basin Street”, often working with international jazz figures including Frank Rossolino and Lenny Breau. During the same period, he also toured extensively in Japan and Europe with jazz guitar legend Jim Hall and piano great, Oscar Peterson.
Terry Clarke is an original member of the “Rob McConnell and The Boss Brass” jazz big band, recording and touring with the world-acclaimed ensemble for 25 years. In 1985, seeking greater musical challenges, Clarke moved to New York City to pursue an exclusively jazz-oriented career. During his tenure there, he worked and recorded with The Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra, Helen Merrill, Toots Theilemans, Ann Hampton Callaway, Red Mitchell, Marvin Stamm, Jim Hall, Bill Mays, Roger Kellaway, and Joe Roccisano, to list a few.
Having recorded over 300 albums with various jazz artists, Terry Clarke is a familiar face at jazz festivals, concert halls, and venues throughout the world. In August of 1999, he returned to Toronto, reuniting with Rob to join his exciting new ensemble, “The Rob McConnell Tentet”, Terry Clarke’s most recent CD release is “Bick’s Bag” (Triplet Records) featuring the trio of Bill Mays, Neil Swainson, and Terry Clarke, in tribute to Canadian jazz guitar legend, Ed Bickert.
Terry Clarke continues to perform and record with a number of international artists, including Nancy Wilson, Bill Mays, Renee Rosnes, Jim Hall, and Helen Merrill, as well as with an exciting line-up of Canadian musicians, among them David Braid, Jake Langley, Don Thompson, Nancy Walker, Neil Swainson, and David Occhipinti. Clarke is also an enthusiastic jazz educator, and for the past several years has been a member of the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.
In 2002, Terry Clarke was named a member of the Order of Canada.
Lesley Mitchell-Clarke and LMC Media are familiar names in the realm of media relations, promotion and production of musical and theatrical events, as well as arts journalism. For the past twenty-five years she has been based in New York City and Toronto, specializing in jazz specific music publicity. Lesley was an account executive with the New York City public relations firm, Third Floor Media and during her tenure there (and also with LMC Media), she represented the artists signed with many major recording labels including Concord Records, Atlantic Records, Sharp-Nine, GRP, Koch, Brownstone, DRG, RCA Victor/BMG, Nonesuch Records, Telarc, Columbia, and for several years, most of Warner Bros. jazz, covering both international CD promotions, tours and “live” performances.
A few of the major jazz artists with whom she has worked directly include Marian McPartland, Joshua Redman, Janis Siegel (of The Manhattan Transfer), Blossom Dearie, Fred Hersch, Larry Goldings, Brad Mehldau, Wallace Roney, Jeanie Bryson, Terence Blanchard, Kevin Mahogany, Cyrus Chestnut, Helen Merrill, the late Susannah McCorkle, Jackie & Roy, Blossom Dearie, Winard Harper, Giacomo Gates, John Alcorn, Emilie-Claire Barlow, Dave Young, Lenny Solomon, Bill Mays, Roger Kellaway, Oliver Jones and the late multi-Grammy nominee Mark Murphy.
Favorite events for whom Lesley has acted as Media Director include The Distillery Jazz Festival, The Art of Jazz Festival, The Markham International Jazz Festival, The New York and Toronto JVC Jazz Festivals, The Playboy Jazz Festival and numerous events in conjunction with John Schreiber’s Office (JVC/Festival Productions).
Born in Oakville Ontario in 1961, raised in St. Catharines, John Sherwood is easily among the top jazz pianists in Canada today. His strong foundation in classical music is apparent, but does not overshadow his ability to swing. “In the town in southern Ontario where I grew up, there is an outstanding young pianist named John Sherwood.” -Gene Lees, The Jazz Letter. “Sherwood is firmly of the Oscar Peterson school. His feature, I’m Falling in Love With Love was music that was beautifully constructed, brilliantly executed and of deeply lyrical quality and he swung mightily all evening long.” -Hugh Fraser, The Spectator. John appears regularly with Peter Appleyard, and has also performed or recorded with Moe Koffman, Guido Basso, Rob McConnell, Ed Bickert, Jake Hanna, Kenny Wheeler and Butch Miles to name but a few.
Bryan is a graduate of Western University and the University of Windsor, earning degrees in both music performance and music education.
He has performed on flutes, clarinets, saxophones and other wind instruments within a wide variety of ensembles including: orchestras, musical theatre, jazz, big band, rock, funk, pop, country, classical, baroque, Italian, Irish, and Middle Eastern music ensembles. He has performed on stage in Europe, North America and China, with notable performers such as Joan Rivers, Franky Valli, Della Reese, and Mickey Rooney.
As a teacher, Bryan has over 25 years of experience in music education - teaching in classrooms and private lessons throughout the Toronto area. He employs a dynamic style and engages with students of all ages, bringing out the best performances in all of them.
Clark Johnston started his professional career as a bassist in 1994 and has since had the opportunity to work with the likes of Peter Appleyard, Diana Panton, Reg Schwager, and Don Thompson–just to name a few. He performs regularly with Drew Jurecka, Adrean Farrugia, James Brown, Neil Brathwaite, Ashley St Pierre as well as many other great musicians.
Clark has released three CDs with Shields Johnston Fielding featuring his original compositions and can be heard on many other people’s recordings.
He holds a master’s degree in music composition as well as a Bachelor of Education from York University. Clark is currently on faculty at Mohawk College, McMaster University, and Hillfield Strathallan College.
Born and raised into an Irish/Icelandic family, Peter Shea began his lifelong love affair with music surrounded by a family of musicians and music lovers. In 1995 Peter graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Jazz Performance and Composition.
Peter’s extensive resume includes performing on keyboards for the hit Toronto Second City dinner theatre show “Tony and Tina’s Wedding”; touring across Canada with comedian Sean Cullen; performing for a month at the world famous Edinburgh Comedy Festival on both keyboards and drums, including several live performances on BBC Television and Radio; performing on keyboard with the Jersey Boys in Toronto; a cross-Canada tour with the famous Montreal “Just for Laughs” Road Show including the Pantages and Massy Hall theatres.
He has also had the unique privilege of performing with many great Canadian jazz artists including Phil Dwyer, Pat LaBarbera, Graham Lear, Heather Bambrick, Mike Malone, Kevin Turcotte, June Garber, Davide Direnzo, Mike Daley (Jeff Healey Band), Duncan Hopkins, Gord Sheard and more.
With his long musical lineage, Peter Shea is considered one of Niagara’s eminent jazz pianist, percussionist, vocalist, composer and arranger. Along with his wife and musical partner, Juliet Dunn, Peter Shea has performed in over forty countries as a bandleader, vocalist and keyboard/piano player.
Currently, Peter and his wife Juliet run the Twilight Jazz Series in Niagara (www.twilightjazz.ca) and the duo also created and run the TD Niagara Jazz Festival. (Voted the ‘Best New Festival’ in Ontario in 2017).
See more about Peter here: www.petersheamusic.com
Ashley has been professionally performing, composing and teaching music since 2003. She studied jazz voice and composition at Mohawk College in Hamilton as part of the Applied Music program, graduating at the top of her class.
Ashley studied voice under jazz vocalists Bob Hamper and Carol McCartney, Canadian tenor Victor Micallef, and has participated in numerous workshops by greats such as British jazz vocalist Norma Winstone and the many wonderful musicians and instructors at the IAJE. She has studied big band and jazz composition under the tutelage of some of Canada’s greats, including Rob McConnell, Dave McMurdo, and Mike Malone.
Ashley released her debut album, Star Spinning, in 2008, which won Best Jazz Album of the year at the 2008 Ontario Independent Music Awards.
She has taught at several music schools throughout Niagara and the GTA, conducted choirs, organized and taught music workshops, and is now happy to be once again teaching in St Catharines at The Bethany School of Music and Arts as a private voice instructor, piano instructor and visual arts instructor, as well as at The Wandering Minstrel Music School in Streetsville, Mississauga, as a private voice and piano instructor.
Ten thousand hours of rehearsal. A few thousand gigs. Lifelong resident of Niagara. Jazz,Blues,Country,Pop and Gypsy Jazz. Still in love with the guitar. Solo,duos and ensemble work. The goal is to stay fresh and vital!
Randy Stirzinger has been and still is to this day, a pillar of jazz music in the Niagara community. He has performed all over the region and beyond as a pianist, bass player and vibraphone player. He first discovered his passion for jazz when he heard Oscar Peterson's 'Hello Herbie' album, Herbie Hancock's 'Maiden Voyage' album and HH's 'Headhunters album' around the of age 16. Since then he has never looked back. His first instrument is the bass guitar and later on came piano, vibes, latin percussion and then upright string bass. Some of his influences include: Milt Jackson, Cal Tjader, Tito, Mongo, Ray Brown, Don Patterson, to name just a few.