New York native,Kim A.Clarke,is a parent,bassist,composer,bandleader,
website developer, educator and earring designer. She performs alternately on the Acoustic Bass, Electric Upright , four and five-stringed Electric Bass Guitar.


As an acoustic bassist Kim traveled most notably with the late Joe Henderson Quartet (1986-7) throughout Europe. Internationally she is noted as “at home in the Ron Carter School of HardBop”, “a dynamic Woman in Jazz who supported the intense rhythm of the Henderson group with unsuspected vitality and melodic solo passages..” as electric bassist is noted in the bio of the famed bassist Larry Graham; a great early influence on her playing concept. As an electric bassist she has toured most extensively with Joseph Bowie's Jazz/Funk unit DEFUNKT 1981-2023


Currently she performs in the BERTHA HOPE QUINTET for the Elmo Hope Centennial "#ELMO@100"
She is also preparing for a Black History Month tour with Ronnie Burrage's Holographic Principle Band.

In the late 90's Kim teamed up with saxophonist Rob Scheps and formed a band called MAGNETS!Worldbeat Band. Members have inluded Jazz artists such as Jeff Minnieweather,George Mitchell of Portland Oregon, Bryan Carrott, Bruce Edwards, Ronnie Burrage, Marvin Bugalu Smith and Tim Siciliano She has performed with : Art Blakey, Marylou Williams,Harold Ousley ,Jimmy Heath,Leon Thomas,Sun Ra,Sam Rivers, George Braith and Space Island,Rashied Ali,Junior Cooke,Ed Pazant,Rahn Burton,Clifford Jordan,Richard Williams,Tommy Turrentine,Gilly Coggins,Charles Sullivan,Marvin Bugalu Smith, Steve Coleman and Five Elements,Andy Bey, Louis Hayes, Gerald Hayes, Lionel Hampton,Ed Stoute, Tootsie Bean,Arturo O'Farrill,Ray McKinley,Zeke Mullins, Bernard Wright,Rodney Kendrick and Rhonda Ross Kendrick, Donald Byrd,Donald Blackman,Candido, Patato, Little Jimmy Scott, Dr. Billy Taylor, Olu Dara, Screamin Jay Hawkins,Cindy Blackman, Marilyn Mazur,Stephanie Chapman, Gracian Moncur, Philly Joe Jones,Sharon Freeman, Geri Allen, Johnny O’Neal ,Paula Hampton, Charles Tolliver,David Durrah,Ellis the Nazarean, Napoleon Revels Bey,Jean-Paul Bourelly, and online with Miki Yamanaka's 75th Miki's Mood Home Concert June 2022
Big band work includes 20plus years and 3 recordings with with the Kit McClure Big Band ,George Gee Big Band,Jaki Byard and the Apollo Stompers,Charlie Bryd Big Band,Lester Bowie and Brass Fantasy, Black Girls Rock Orchestra, Black Rock Coalition big band and several tours with the Defunkt Big Band. Vocalists include: Evelyn Blakey,Dakota Staton, Sarah Vaughn,Sheila Jordan,Teri Thornton,Sister Mekea Keith,Antoinette Montague, Keisha St. Joan, Ghanniyya Green, Nikita White,Louise Bethune, Mary Wormworth,Judy Bady,JennJade Ledesna,Teri Davis,Cynthia Soriano,Beareather Reddy, Vanessa Rubin ,Cassandra Wilson,Adela Dalto, Lillian Day Jackson,Lady Leah and Lady Kantreese Alloway, the Ghetto Fighters (background vocalists with Jimi Hendrix),James Chance and the Contortions,Victor Jones and Black Velvet. Work with poets Sekou Sundiata,Ntozake Shange and Trazana Beverly,Zakiyya Modeste and dancers: Mickey Davidson, Tina Pratt,Tracy Mann and Roxanne Butterfly.

In 2017 she toured China,performing with Mark Zhu,Chuangye Liu,Ronnie Burrage and Wayne Esscofery @ the Dalian University of the Arts and the new Beijing Blue Note. Prior to the Covid 19 pandemic Kim hosted the Jazz Foundation Jam session @ Local 802 for seven years. Post pandemic the Jazz Foundation and Steve Jordan hosted a Tribute to Charlie Parker :"BIRD CALLS",(56:44)Highlights of 2019 musical collaborations include performing with Bertha Hope's Elmo Hope Project for the 28th Annual Jazz Foundation of America Loft Party, Lady Leah, Sage, guitarists :Tim Siciliano,Bill Bickford, Sheryl Bailey,Marvin Horne,Bruce Edwards,Jean-Paul Bourelly, Kelvyn Bell ,Debbie Knapper, and Rocco Zifarelli as well as in Felicia Collins's tribute to Marvin Gaye @ Prospect Park bandshell for the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn Festival, 2021 the first Sugar Hill Jazz Festival participant, Kim Clarke Quintet @ Jazz by The Water on Governor's Island

Her touring experiences include work with the Yusef Lateef Quartet, National Black Theatre,The Are and Be Ensemble, Teri Thornton Trio, Bertha Hope Trio, Robert Palmer ,Kit McClure Big Band, Rachel Z Trio, Bill Bickford's "BIGFOOD"
Wallace Roney and Cindy Blackman Quartet,Rhonda Ross-Kendrick,Oliver Lake and Jump Up, James Blood Ulmer Experience, Jack Mc Duff Quartet, Rodney Kendricks Quartet, Jazzberry Jam

As Educator

Kim has been a member of Mickey Davidson's Dance Rhythm Dance Troupe and Napoleon Revels-Bey Educational Ensembles which bring history of Dance and Jazz to numerous schools in the NY area. She has also collaborated on developing a study program, with pianist Bertha Hope and company through the Jazz Foundation of America geared to mentorship of Bronx high school girls through Jazz Studies at Womens Academy of Excellence and other schools.Prior workshop/teaching experience includes private students most notably Reggie Hamilton,and at venues such as: Boys Harbor NY,Guitar Institute of Technology,London, Feierwerk Jazztage und Blues Werkshop, Munich Germany, Portland State University, Oregon,Reed College, Columbia Basin College and Whitman Colleges Washington State.

Early background

Kim is a granddaughter of Caribbean Vaudeville Trombonist/Bassist/Bandleader

Henry "Hy " Clarke,(featured in early jazz recordings with Louis Armstrong )
as well as grandneice of Harlem Renaissance writer Eric Walrond and bassist Carroll Walrond - her paternaL grandmother's brothers. She attended Catholic Grammar and High Schools to which she attributes a strong educational foundation. Her parents saw to it that she traveled and bonded with maternal family in the rural South & internationally in the Armed Forces. These early blessed travel experiences prepared her for her future life's path. Having grow up in the 1960s she witnessed much turmoil. Her mother had taken her to the 1963 March on Washington where she witnessed Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech. She also crossed paths with Malcolm X and Minister Farrakhan as neighbors in her early childhood. She is a member of the descendants of Benjamin and Edith Spaulding.

Music Education

She holds B.A.'s in Communications and Music from City College and Long Island University respectively, and is a 3- time recipient of the coveted N E A Jazz Study Fellowship; under the tutelage of Bass Masters Ron Carter, Buster Williams and Lisle Atkinson respectively. Ms Clarke , a long-time student of the Jazzmobile and Barry Harris Workshops was also a member of Harris' Jazz Cultural Theatre's House Band for the famed Art Blakey Breakfast Jam.


LADY GOT CHOPS Women's History Month Music and Arts Festival Inc

With the owners of the Jazz (aka Jazz Spot Café), Lillithe Myers and her daughter Tiecha Merritt ,Kim created and produced the “LADY GOT CHOPS Women's Month Jazz Festival” . After the closure of the café in 2009, Kim continued the project with the support of women artists and caring club owners .The grassroots festival celebrated its 14th year (2016) honoring Women's History Month through the musical contributions of over 200 women. During the Haiti Crisis of 2010 participants collectively donated over $1400 to Doctors Without Borders. The 10th Annual Festival honored Cobi Narita, Wendy Oxenhorn and the owners of the Jazz Spot Cafe, Lillithe Meyers and Tiecha Merritt.We honor the heavenly transition of Lillithe Meyers 2021 and Queen Mother of the NY Jazz Scene Cobi Narita Nov 8,2023.

Scenes from the 17 Annual LADY GOT CHOPS Women's History Month Music & Arts Festival held at Flushing Town Hall 3/2019
2021 has heralded changes but the festival remains a voluntary labor of love in memory of Kim's mother who dedicated so much of her life to uplifting women thru educational opportunity.
The 21st Annual LADY GOT CHOPS Fest calendar-online and digital March 2023
Ultimately Kim envisions mirroring and sharing the type of festival experience she was so blessed to have been a part of overseas.

Bands led or co-led:

Inner Circle Q-tet (raised over $25000 for Bennett College)
Kim Clarke Trio
AWOL Angels With Outstanding Lawyers
Gaiafest All -Stars
Bennett Underground
MAGNETS! Jazz Worldbeat Band
Jamaikit Funky -feel good dance band


2024 inclusion in the 3rd Edition of The QUEENS JAZZ TRAIL Home of Jazz Legends Past and Present Map produced by Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts
2019 Queens Arts Fund Award BY Queens Council On The Arts with public funds from the NYC Departmnet of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council,
2018 Trailblazing Women and Arts Institutions Award by Rhythmcolor Associates
2017 Jazz Impact Award by Central Brooklyn Jazz Consortium
2015 Jazz Heroes Award by the Jazz Journalists Assn.,
2014 Bean Runner Festival Founders Award
2013 Central Brooklyn Jazz Foundation Founders Award
2012 Women's Academy of Excellence Philanthropic Award
2010 Banana Pudding Jazz Golden Chekere Award
2010 Women's Academy Of Excellence Community Service Award
2008 New York State Assembly Certificate of Merit and Certificate of Congressional recognition in recognition of outstanding service to the community
Minton's Playhouse Jazz Photo shoot 2010,
2008 Elmcor's EAA Satchmo award for Music/Entertainment
2008 Ms Clarke is pictured in the female recreation of the famed A Great Day In Harlem photo : The Girls In The Band 2008
Mike Lockers 2002 New York Jazz Musicians Project,
1995 Special Recognition Bennett College Alumni
Bass Player Magazine (91)
1991 listed on Ivan Bartowski's Jazz Family Tree Chart.
1988 Kim also appears in Marquis Who's Who in Entertainment,
Guitar Player (1988)
1983 MIKE LOCKERS JAZZ ON THE ROOIF Downtown Jazz Musicians photo


Russia, Netherlands,Germany,Switzerland,
Finland,Lithuania,Slovenia,Czech Republic,Romania,Spain,France,Italy,Sicily,
Serbia, Portugal,Corsica,Monaco, Sardegna,San Sebastian, Greece,Nice,Austria,Aland
Ireland, Liechtenstein,Poland, Belgium ,
Trinidad,Nassau,South Korea and China


Film appearances:
Oh Boy Babies
Night of the Juggler
Bill Boggs Show
Ohne Filter
Today Show with Dr. Billy Taylor
Rising Tones Cross with Billy Bang