Zack Clarke

Pianist and composer Zack Clarke has received international acclaim for his explorations of jazz improvisation, classical, and electronic music. Random Acts of Order, his debut release on Clean Feed Records, gained recognition as a notable work in both US and international publications, including Freejazzblog critic Rick Joines’ Top Ten for 2017 and the Best of Improvisation from Italy’s Percosi Musicali. He has also appeared in the top pianist selection by Gregory Applegate Edwards in the 2017 El Intruso International Critics’ Poll.  Zack’s second release on the Clean Feed label, entitled Mesophase, has drawn acclaim for its ability to unite through-composed ensemble performance, electronic music and improvisation in a captivating defiance of musical convention. Vertical Shores, his third album featuring jazz trio, was released in 2019, earning mention as a notable new release in the 14th Annual NPR Jazz Critics Poll.

Discography

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Collaborations

Historically it has been artists who’ve made this kind of music. Here, in the immediate present, on this great recording led by Zack Clarke’s direction, beautiful work on piano and electronics, he and his colleagues, all young, deep, brave, talented artists lead the way forward. — Joe Morris
Zack Clarke

Zack Clarke is a pianist and composer living and working in New York City.  Random Acts of Order, his debut album on Clean Feed Records, was released in 2017, followed by his 2018 release of the electro-acoustic album Mesophase.  His third album, Vertical Shores, was released in 2019.  Previous recordings include the electronic album Music For Headphones, and Dialectic, a collaboration with cellist Chris Irvine that features free improvisation based on Bach’s third cello suites. Clarke’s emerging body of work reveals a command of diverse musical styles and a determined pursuit of new ideas through experimentation and improvisation.  His music draws from classical, jazz and electronic music; serving to explore the broader concepts involved in improvised and free music.

An active session artist and performer, Clarke has recorded or shared the stage with a number of prominent artists and has appeared before audiences in the US, Europe and South America.

As a collaborator he has appeared on numerous recordings, including Luis Antonio Castro’s albums Koyari, Mirrors, and Rosa; and with percussionist Dre Hocevar on the album Transcendental Within the Sphere of Indivisible Remainder.

A Texas native and alum of Houston’s acclaimed High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Clarke’s abilities as a jazz improviser were recognized early on with multiple awards, including outstanding soloist awards from Downbeat Magazine and from the North Texas Jazz Festival.  He attended The New England Conservatory in Boston, majoring in Jazz Performance, and while there had the opportunity to study with jazz greats Danilo Perez, Fred Hersch, and Jason Moran. Upon completion of his Bachelor of Music degree he moved to New York to study with Kenny Werner and attend NYU, where he earned a Masters of Music and worked as adjunct faculty.

In addition to performing and composing, Zack is a dedicated teacher who is grateful for the mentorship he has received, and finds rewards in sharing that knowledge with others through instruction in piano and music theory.

Press

Encuesta 2017 — Periodistas Internacionales

Critic: Gregory Applegate Edwards, Piano Category read more>

Best of 2017, Percosi Musicali (Italy)

Improvisation Category read more>

2017 Top Ten List, Freejazzblog

Critic: Rick Joines read more>

Best of 2018,Acoustic Levitation

Critic: Steve Koenigread more>

Encuesta 2019 — Periodistas Internacionales

Critic: Zlatan Dimitrijevic, Piano Category

14th Annual Jazz Critics Poll

Top 10 New Releases of 2019 Critic: Martin Longley

Best of 2019 — Jazz Portugal

Jazz.pt/Melhores de 2019 Critic: Giancalo Falcao

Reviews

NYC JAZZ RECORD

Zack Clarke pulls out the plug for the piano trio on Vertical Shores and follows the egalitarian models of forerunners such as Bill Evans and Paul Bley by allowing his colleagues equal agency in the edgy interaction he promotes. 

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ALL ABOUT JAZZ ITALIA

Un disco in piano trio veramente lodevole, come per buona sorte ci capita di ascoltarne non poi così di rado, in tempi recenti. Il che, per una formula che potrebbe apparire consunta e priva di sbocchi, non è davvero rilievo di poco conto. Album della settimana.

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TEXTURA.ORG

With double bassist Kim Cass and drummer Dre Hocevar as engaged co-pilots, Zack Clarke continues his bold reimagining of the jazz piano trio tradition on his third release for Clean Feed. A stellar follow-up to the earlier Random Acts of Order and Mesophase releases… 

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ALL ABOUT JAZZ

Clarke’s prismatic creative streaks and multifaceted regimen proposes a host of captivating aspects to coincide with the implications set forth by the album title. He possesses an arsenal of ultramodern concepts and is most certainly one to watch. 

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TONESHIFT

Clarke gives us a heaping dose of playful detritus that defies any previously hinted-at conventions. It simply sends chills. 

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TEXTURA

Like its predecessor, Mesophase achieves a rapprochement between disparate forces that’s both fascinating and startling.  

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IN ON THE CORNER

The best thing about listening to new music is hearing something that outright confounds.  

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FREE JAZZ BLOG

. . . what Clarke and his group have made here is equal parts enthralling and unsettling. 

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BIRD IS THE WORM

This never-ending cycle of deconstruction-unity is pretty damn fascinating. 

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JAZZ TRAIL

. . . an inveterate explorer who likes to push musical boundaries by distilling his creative ideas into new music.

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ALL ABOUT JAZZ

On this showing it’s clear that this is a triumvirate of names to watch out for in the future. 

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THE FREE JAZZ COLLECTIVE

The interplay between the trio is euphoric, aggressive. This group respects tradition but they’re not afraid to burn it down. They can play sweet as a gang of harpists, then buzz, furious as bees.

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GAPPLEGATE MUSIC REVIEW

This is a free trio with a decided difference. Henry Fraser is the double bassist, Dre Hocevar the drummer, and they both contribute much to the outcome. But it is Clarke’s pianism that especially wins me over.

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JOE MORRIS

liner notes for Random Acts of Order

Although the three musicians on this recording are in their 20s, the playing on this recording is mature. It isn’t burdened by unnecessary contrived complexity. Instead, it relies on the precision of listening, collective engagement, and the courage to do something different.

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PERCOSI MUSICALE

These considerations can be a good starting point for analyzing the onset of Clean Feed the young American pianist Zack Clarke, who is launching a trio of Henry Fraser on bass and on drums Dre Hocevar: its Random Acts of order is among the best music publications. 

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JAZZ TRAIL

. . . an inveterate explorer who likes to push musical boundaries by distilling his creative ideas into new music.

read more>

Media

Calendar

No Events

Past Performances

March 1 @ 7:00

Turtle Bay Music School Artist Series

with Nathan Bellot, saxophone;
and Chris Irvine, cello

 

January 20 @ 8:00

Jazz Habitat

with Leo Galaganov,

Evan Crane and Welf Dorr

 

December 9 @ 7:00

El Barrio Art Space

Zack Clarke Ensemble
with Charlotte Greve, Chis Irvine,
Leo Galaganov
 and Evan Crane

 

November 30 @ 7:00

Happy Lucky #1

Zack Clarke, solo

 

September 12 @ 9:15

Happy Lucky #1

Zack Clarke Ensemble
with Charlotte Greve, Chis Irvine,
Leo Galaganov
 and Evan Crane

 

August 8 @ 11:00

Rockwood Music Hall

with Ken Ychicawa

 

August 2 @ 9:00

Pete’s Candy Store

with Ken Ychicawa

 

May 25

Turtle Bay

with Chris Irvine and Nathan Bellote

 

May 18 @ 7:00

Spectrum

Aurelius Cloud

 

May 2 @7:00

Shapeshifter Lab

Aurelius Cloud

 

April 30 @ 10:00

Bushwick Public House

Techeser Holmes Quartet

 

 February 24

Spectrum

Zack Clarke Trio

with Dre Hocevar and Kim Cass

 

February 19  8:15 PM

Shapeshifter Lab

with Dre Hocevar, James Brandon Lewis and Max Johnson

 

 December 17

Glass Box Theater

New School

with Alex Louloudis and Lester St. Louis

 

October 29

Cornelia Street Cafe  6:00 PM

Unbridled

with Stephanie Lamprea, Charlotte Munn,
Adam Bilchik and Christine Papania

 

October 19

New School Glass Box Theater

 

October8

Spectrum   7:00 PM

Unbridled

with Stephanie Lamprea, Charlotte Munn,
Adam Bilchik and Christine Papania

 

July 16

Shapeshifter Lab

Premiere of Communer

electronic and acoustic quintet

 

July 9

The Footlight Improvisations

Brooklyn, NY

 

June 8 – 10

Burlington Jazz Festival

Burlington, VT

 

June 4

Figment NYC

 

June 2

Greenpoint Gallery

 

May 28

Rockwood Music Hall,
Stage One

 

May 25

Recording Session
Wombat Studio

 

May 12

Private Event

Houston, TX

 

April 25

Recording Session

Park West Studios

 

March 29

Pianos Upstairs

duo with Walker Adams

 

March 21

Bowery Poetry Club

Solo Piano  6:00 – 8:00pm

 

March 15

Rockwood Music Hall

with Quinton Zoto and Walker Adams

 

March 14

Pianos Upstairs

with Walker Adams | Duo with drums and Juno Synthesizer

 

February 27

Shapeshifter Labs, Solo Piano

 

February 9

Ecuador Jazz Festival, Quito, Ecuador

Teatro Nacional Sucre  7:30 pm/with Koyari and Luis Castro

 

February 7

Garua Cafe, Quito, Ecuador with Koyari

October 30

Spectrum, with Logan Strosahl, Robin Betton and Sam Lisbeth

 

October 14

La Casa Musica, Quito, Ecuador; with Luis Castro, Marta delGrande and Koyari

 

October 11

El Pobre Diablo, Quito, Ecuador; with Luis Castro, Marta delGrande and Koyari

 

September 21

Spectrum, with The Zack Clarke Trio

 

July 11, 18

NYU, Jazz Masterclass with Billy Drewes

 

July 7-9

with Tyshawn Sorey’s Conduction Orchestra, The Stone

 

July 1

Gold Sounds, Brooklyn

 

June 22

Dialectic, with Chris Irvine, Spectrum

 

May 6  9:00

with Sam Pluta and Jeremy Corren, Spectrum

 

March 18  7:00

Solo performance, Spectrum

 

March 14  7:00

Zack Clarke Trio, Spectrum

 

February 28  7:00

Solo performance, Shapeshifter Labs

Dre Hocevar Large Ensemble 8:00 PM

 

February 7  7:00

with dre Hocevar, Spectrum

 

January 30

Shapeshifter Labs

with Dre Hocevar Large Ensemble

November 21   5:00 PM;  Nov 22  2:00 PM

Hudson Guild Theater — Upsurge Choreography Platform II

Dance performance featuring pieces from Music for Headphones and Dialectic

Christina D’Arrigo, choreographer

 

November 8   1:00 – 3:00 PM

Cleveland Cello Society; conducting workshop on improvisation

 

November 6   8:00

The Bop Stop |  Cleveland, OH

Performance of Dialectic

 

October 31   9:00

The Living Room

 

October 17   7:00

Private Concert — performance of Dialectic with Chris Irvine

Upper West Side

 

September 28   7:00

Why Not Jazz Room  with Jeremy Warren and The Rudiment

 

September 21   9:30

Shapshifter with Dre Hocevar

 

August 23   9:30

Shapshifter with Sana Nagano

December 7

Kimmel Theater

 

December 4

Ella Lounge

 

November 12

Bite

 

November 8

Silvana

 

October 10

Ella lounge

 

October 9

Pips Art Gallery

 

October 5

Lavo

 

October 2nd

Santos party house

 

September 28

Midway cafe, Boston

 

September 14 and 21

Lavo

 

September 13

The Stanton S

 

September 7  with Dangermen

Pianos,  158 Ludlow St  @TBD

 

August 31

Douglas Street

 

August 17

Lavo

 

August 10

With Brad Mulholland Group

Pianos,  158 Ludlow St  @TBD

 

July 6

With Daniel Carter, Leonid Galaganov, Sung Ho Choi and Evan Crane

Downtown Music Gallery,  13 Monroe Street

 

July 5

Interrobang

Pianos,  158 Ludlow St

 

June 8 & 15

Dan Kirfirst Trio

Lavo,  39 E 58th St

 

May 22

Dangermen

The Firehouse,  246 Frost St, Brooklyn  @ 9:00 PM

 

May 22

With Luis Castro

123W 71st @ 7:00 PM

 

May 17

With Billy Drewes

Provincetown Playhouse @ 7:00 PM

 

April 23

With Billy Drewes

The Firehouse,  246 Frost St, Brooklyn  @ 9:00 PM

 

April 22

With Daniel Carter and Leo Galaganov

3rd North, NYU @ 8:00 PM

 

April 22

With The Zack Clarke Trio

3rd North, NYU @ 7:00 PM

 

March 2

Dangermen

The Firehouse,  246 Frost St, Brooklyn  @ 9:00 PM

Contact