Clark (Paperback)

The Autobiography of Clark Terry

By Clark Terry, Bill Cosby (Foreword by), Quincy Jones (Preface by), Gwen Terry (Contributions by), David Demsey (Introduction by)

University of California Press, 9780520287518, 344pp.

Publication Date: June 12, 2015

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (11/8/2011)
MP3 CD (7/19/2016)

List Price: 26.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Compelling from cover to cover, this is the story of one of the most recorded and beloved jazz trumpeters of all time. With unsparing honesty and a superb eye for detail, Clark Terry, born in 1920, takes us from his impoverished childhood in St. Louis, Missouri, where jazz could be heard everywhere, to the smoke-filled small clubs and carnivals across the Jim Crow South where he got his start, and on to worldwide acclaim. Terry takes us behind the scenes of jazz history as he introduces scores of legendary greats—Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Dinah Washington, Doc Severinsen, Ray Charles, Thelonious Monk, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Coleman Hawkins, Zoot Sims, and Dianne Reeves, among many others. Terry also reveals much about his own personal life, his experiences with racism, how he helped break the color barrier in 1960 when he joined the Tonight Show band on NBC, and why—at ninety years old—his students from around the world still call and visit him for lessons.

About the Author

Clark Terry’s illustrious career—as an innovative trumpeter and flugelhornist, horn designer, leading jazz educator, and composer—has covered an epic span of jazz history. Winner of the 2010 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and an NEA Jazz Master, in addition to many other accolades and awards, Terry is the author of Let’s Talk Trumpet: From Legit to Jazz and The Interpretation of the Jazz Language, both with Phil Rizzo.

Praise For Clark: The Autobiography of Clark Terry

“‘Clark’ chronicles, in endearing prose, Terry's personal and professional journey. . . . Onstage and in the backroom, Terry and his trumpet shared a front-row seat to jazz history. "Clark" is nothing short of that remarkable story.”

— Alexander Heffner

“Terry’s wonderful book is a true labor of love.”

— Peter Vacher

"Informative, detailed, intimate, and throughly absorbing, "Clark" is very strongly recommended."

— The Midwest Book Review