Trumpeter Clark Terry grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. His uncle's position playing tuba in Dewey Jackson's band, The Musical Ambassadors, made a great impact on Terry, who watched the band practice. When Terry was thirteen, he joined the local drum and bugle corps and soon got his first professional gig with the band Dollar Bill and His Small Change. Between this time and 1942, when he joined the Navy, Terry played with several other bands throughout the Midwest.
After the Navy, Terry joined Lionel Hampton's band and traveled to California, where he then joined Count Basie's Big Band. He was a part of Basie's octet for five years and Duke Ellington's band for eight years.
After touring Europe with The Quincy Jones Orchestra, Terry joined The Tonight Show Orchestra on NBC. During these years, Terry continued to do studio recordings and, for a short time in the 1970s, led his own band.
His next forum was the classroom, where he has become one of the leading figures in Jazz education, imparting his knowledge of brass playing, musicianship, and life's lessons to a generation of youngsters everywhere. Terry has been awarded four honorary doctorate degrees, received several Grammy Award nominations, had two music schools named after him, and has been a guest at the White House several times.
On Terry's newest recording for Chesky Records, One On One, he and fourteen of the world's preeminent Jazz pianists celebrate the artistry of their favorite composers and musical influences. In so doing, they create a monumental project which pays tribute to the river of inspiration that flows among musical innovators.