Clark Sommers rings true and honest in tone. The golden color pours a solid foundation to the timbre of the group
All About Jazz
Clark's intelligent and thoughtful approach to music rings through his sound and ability to pick up even on the slightest nuance or change in the music.
Cicily Janus, The New Face of Jazz
Bassist, composer, and educator, Clark has toured and performed extensively throughout the world. He has had the privilege of performing with Cedar Walton, Darrell Grant, Brian Blade, Ernie Watts, Bennie Maupin, Von Freeman, Ira Sullivan, Frank Wess, Charles McPherson, Peter Bernstein, Lin Halliday, Dana Hall, Jodie Christian, Bobby Broom, Jeff Parker, Ron Perrillo, Geof Bradfield, Michael Weiss, George Fludas, Kevin Mahogany, Eden Atwood, Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls, The Mighty Blue Kings, and The Chicago Jazz Orchestra, among others.
Clark completed his undergraduate degree in Jazz Studies and World Music at the California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with bass masters Charlie Haden and Darek Oles. While living in Los Angeles, Clark performed with Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, The Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra, Joe LaBarbera and Larry Koonse. He continues to seek expansion of his craft by pursuing his musical studies with masters such as David Grossman of the New York Philharmonic, Mike Longo, and Stefon Harris. He recently completed two residencies at the Brubeck Institute in Stockton, California.
Clark is proud to be at home in the bass chair with vocalist Kurt Elling, with whom he tours the globe, bringing jazz to everyone from Istanbul to the Canary Islands. Thus far he has been privileged to play on two Grammy-nominated recordings with the band, one of which won the Grammy for Best Vocal Jazz Album in 2009.
When not on the road with Kurt Elling, Clark enjoys leading his own group, Ba(SH). The group includes long-time friends Dana Hall and Geof Bradfield. The group's first recording, Ba(SH), was released in August 2013 and has received critical acclaim. It was acknowledged on the "notable and not to be missed" list by All About Jazz in 2013.
Clark can also be heard performing with Portland's Darrell Grant in his Territory ensemble, which includes Brian Blade, Joe Locke and Steve Wilson. Clark performs regularly with Dana Hall's groups, Spring and also Black Fire, Geof Bradfield's groups, African Flowers Ensemble and also Melba, the Chicago Yestet, the Dan Cray Trio, the Spin Quartet, and other musicians.