The Louisville Courier-Journal writes, "Clark's playing mixed technical brilliance and beautifully personal expressions…" and "…saxophonist Dave Clark, one of the brightest players in town…"
The music of New Hope C.M.E. Church in his hometown of Pine Bluff, AR, is where Dave remembers his first musical experience. "My hometown is a small city in south-central Arkansas. The first music that I can remember was sung at little New Hope Church. I couldn't have been more than four or five years old. The choir was singing and everybody was fully present & in the moment. Tears welled up in my eyes and I felt something that I could not explain at the time. My mother looked at me, held me close and said, `Don’t be afraid, you’ll understand soon enough`. I have never forgotten that feeling of peace, love, joy, perseverance, and God's spirit in full bloom. I have been chasing that same feeling in my own music ever since."
Dave began playing violin in sixth grade and saxophone in seventh grade. Having played both throughout public school, he studied saxophone performance at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas, received a BM in music education and a MM in jazz performance from the University of Louisville in Kentucky. While at Ouachita, he was introduced to jazz and cites Charlie Parker, Johnny Hodges, and Branford Marsalis as major influences. As a student at U of L, Dave won the school’s Concerto Competetion where he performed the Glazounov Saxophone Concerto and received a Certificate of Merit for Outstanding Performance at the 2006 Notre Dame Jazz Festival. Dave has had the good fortune to study with Harry Pickens, Don Braden, Wessell Anderson, Sim Flora, and Branford Marsalis.
Dave has performed with such diverse artists as Benny Golson, Clark Terry, Randy Brecker, Stanley Turrentine, James Moody, Kevin Mahogany, Harry Pickens, Nancy Wilson, Miles Griffith, the Louisville Orchestra, the Dells, and Delfeayo Marsalis. Dave has performed at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia, Italy, the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Montreaux, Switzerland, and opened for pianist, Eric Reed. He has also performed as part of a good will tour and educational exchange program in Barbados. While still in Arkansas, he also opened concerts for Herb Ellis and Dave Brubeck.
Dave makes his home in Louisville, KY, where he was recently appointed head of the Jazz Studies program at Bellarmine University. Dave's duties include teaching saxophone, jazz harmony, jazz history, improvisation, and directing Bellarmine's Nouveau Gumbo ensemble. Dave also serves on the faculty of Jamey Aebersold's Summer Jazz Camps. Dave maintains a busy performance schedule having performed numerous times at Kentucky Center's Jazz Cabaret, Jazz in Central Park, the Louisville Jazz and Blues Festival at the Water Tower, the Jazz Factory and Derby Dinner Playhouse. Dave is currently working on his first CD & a transcription book of Sidney Bechet solos.
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Jaijai, what a wonderful mission you've undertaken to create such a place for artistic minds to meet and share their hearts. A place to renew faded determinations, and revive lessened momentums. A place to display our wares and reconfirm to one another that we actually are on the right track.
I commend you, Jaijai, for caring so much that you created this castle of the heart for all of us. I want to share my praise for all of the new friends as well as old friends that I've met and will meet here in our castle. Here we can garnish the where-with-all, the strength, the conviction, and the selflessness through our symbiosis, to share our gift to the world with an unbiased agenda.
My mentor, Daisaku Ikeda says of art: "A beautiful flower delights and refreshes the hearts of all people equally, no matter what soil it grows in. That is the power of beauty. The same is true of great art. It is this spirit that the German poet Heinrich Heine sang of when he wrote that once the peapod bursts open, the sugar peas inside are for everyone to enjoy."
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