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Clarence Penn 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.

A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he was a protégé of Ellis Marsalis, Penn is active as an educator and drum clinician. From 2004 to 2012, he taught on the faculty of the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music. He’s also served on faculty at the Stanford Jazz Workshop, the Saint Louis College of Music in Rome, Italy, and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Intensive Jazz Institute.

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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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Albums

Album Be Water

Be Water

Mack Avenue Records
2020

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Album The reMission by Andy Milne

The reMission

Sunnyside Records
2020

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Album Let's Get Tropical by Paul Jones

Let's Get Tropical

Outside in Music
2020

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Album The Women Who Raised Me by Kandace Springs

The Women Who Raised...

Blue Note Records
2020

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Album Apotheosis by Gene Ess

Apotheosis

SIMP Records
2019

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Album Monk: The Lost Files by Clarence Penn

Monk: The Lost Files

Origin Records
2015

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Stablemates

Stablemates

Clarence Penn
Let's Get Tropical

Straight Talk

Straight Talk

Clarence Penn
Let's Get Tropical

MR 2

MR 2

Clarence Penn
Let's Get Tropical

Mental Self Defense Fitness

Mental Self Defense Fitness

Clarence Penn
Let's Get Tropical

Let's Get Tropical

Let's Get Tropical

Clarence Penn
Let's Get Tropical

Glacier Lake

Glacier Lake

Clarence Penn
Let's Get Tropical

MR 4

MR 4

Clarence Penn
Let's Get Tropical

Trio 3

Trio 3

Clarence Penn
Let's Get Tropical

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