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.