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Clarence Penn

Clarence Penn is one of the busiest jazz drummers in the world, a leader of multiple bands, a composer, a prolific producer, and an educator.

Since 1991, when he arrived in New York City, Penn has placed his unique blend of mega-chops, keen intellect, and heady musicianship at the service of a staggering array of A-list artists—a chronological short-list includes Ellis and Wynton Marsalis, Betty Carter, Stanley Clarke, Steps Ahead, Makoto Ozone, Michael Brecker, Dave Douglas, Maria Schneider, Luciana Souza, Richard Galliano, and Fourplay. Penn’s impressive discography includes several hundred studio albums (including the Grammy-winning recordings 34th and Lex by Randy Brecker and Concert in the Garden and Sky Blue by Maria Schneider) representing a 360-spectrum of jazz expression, and he’s toured extensively throughout the United States, the Americas, Europe, Japan, and Southeast Asia. He’s composed music for films and commercials, and produced tracks for numerous singers in the pop and alternative arenas. He earned a “Ten Best of 1997” accolade from the New York Times for his first leader recording, Penn’s Landing.

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”Mr. Penn using brushes might hesitate a minute, like a plane hitting an air pocket, suspending time for a second, then rush back in. It was musical wit, improvisational play at its best.” Peter Watrous - New York Times

”He has a way of pushing and filling-in and giving you the right kick to push you to the next level of playing.” John Swana, trumpeter

”He's classically trained, and knows a lot of music...he has the total package.” Tim Warfield, saxophonist

”A soft drummer, full of thoughtful choices...A revelation.” Harriet McLeod - News Leader staff writer

”His use of space was masterful, mind blowing.” Ryan Vertner - Indiana Daily News

”...stroking rather than thumping the kit, he played one of the most musical solos I've heard...” Keith Bruce - The Herald Glasgow

“Clarence is the kind of musician who leaves his judgments of music and musicians aside to provide the best support and complement

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