Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio Christopher Lowell Clarke began playing trumpet in elementary school. Excelling in his musical training he was given the opportunity to continue his musical development at The School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Cincinnati. SCPA provided many musical experiences for Clarke including playing first trumpet in the school’s symphony orchestra, symphonic band, and jazz band.
Clarke also played in productions of a number of musicals including Peter Pan, The Sound of Music, and Sophisticated Ladies. In 1992 Clarke was awarded the Fish Middleton Rising Young Jazz Artist Scholarship and attended The College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Majoring in Jazz and Studio Music, Clarke played with many guest artists including Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, Bobby Shew, Byron Stripling. And in 1994 Clarke was invited by Ronnie Wells, founder of both the Fisk Middleton Award and the East Coast Jazz Festival, to perform in her annual festival held in Washington DC.
Hungry to play abroad Clarke accepted a position with Carnival Cruise Lines to play in the MS Fantasy’s Universe Orchestra. After four years, ten ships, and numerous ports throughout the Pacific Northeast, Caribbean, and Mexico, Clarke ended his run with Carnival.
With his next step bringing him to the Bay Area, Clarke’s career has continued to flourish, he has preformed in numerous jazz festivals including Monterey, Stanford, Mt. Hood and the Fillmore Street Jazz Festival, which is held annually on the streets of the Fillmore District of San Francisco, CA. Clarke was also a member of the Johnny Nocturne Band during their 1997 tour of Italy where they played in numerous venues including the famous Umbria Jazz Festival in Orvieto. Since his move to San Francisco, Clarke has shared the stage with many Bay Area legends including Eddie Marshal, George Coleman, Sonny Simmons and Bishop Norman Williams. Clarke has performed at an array of local jazz establishments including Rasselas, Rose Pistola, Brunos, the Black Cat, Enricos, and Butterfly. Clarke is currently a member of the Dewayne Oakley Blues Ensemble who recently toured Nagoya, Japan!
Dewayne Oakley/Christopher Lowell Clarke, Naki Do Records 004
Dewayne Oakley/Christopher Lowell Clarke, Second Session Naki Do Records 005
Dewayne Oakley/Christopher Lowell Clarke, Third Session Naki Do Records 006
The Swooper, Christopher Lowell Clarke, LifeForce Records 1018