Jazz greats Clark Terry and Joe Wilder
to perform with Temple’s Jazz Band
For Terell Stafford, it’s a dream come true. On Saturday, legendary jazz trumpeters Clark Terry and Joe Wilder take the stage of the Kimmel Center’s Perelman Theater to play in concert with the Temple University Jazz Band.
“These are two legends of jazz,” said Stafford, director of the Jazz Band and professor and director of jazz studies at the Boyer College of Music and Dance. “They have been a huge inspiration to me, and to give our students this incredible opportunity to share the stage with them is indescribable.”
Himself an internationally acclaimed jazz trumpeter who has a thriving professional career as a performing and recording artist, Stafford has played with both Terry and Wilder and understands what it means to have access to such all-time greats.
“It does wonders for the students’ music, motivating them to play at an even higher level,” he said. “And getting to know who these people are away from their music, and their commitment to education gives them an important message.”
The program for the April 8 concert includes pieces by Thad Jones and Duke Ellington, a selection of Wilder’s favorites and some of Clark Terry’s big band music from his years with Ellington, Count Basie, Charlie Barnet and Lionel Hampton.
Wilder and Terry will be honored with the Temple University Jazz Masters Hall of Fame Award.
“You can educate students about what they should do and how to execute it, but you can’t teach the performing experience,” Stafford said.
On Monday, Wilder, Terry and the Temple Jazz Band will reprise the concert at Dizzy’s Club in New York.
For Stafford, making music with Terry and Wilder recalls special memories. Following the death last year of the renowned broadcast journalist Peter Jennings, who had been an avid jazz devotee, the three performed together at a celebration of his life.
Years before, Stafford had played with Terry at a fundraising event at Jennings’ home, performing for a celebrity-studded guest list that included Calvin Klein and Alec Baldwin.
“Peter was a huge jazz fan and was raising money for an after-school program for underprivileged kids. There I was, playing with Clark Terry, Curtis Fuller, Percy Heath, Roy Haines ...”
“These were some of my idols, and now I can give my students the chance to share the stage with two living legends of jazz.”
Tickets for the April 8, 7:30 p.m. performance are $10–$25, available through TicketPhiladelphia at 215-893-1999 or at the Kimmel Center box office.