Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Clark, Graham (Leslie Lionel)

Violinist; b. Manchester, England, 16 December 1959. His father, Les Clark, was a double bassist.

From 1971-78, Graham attended The Manchester Grammar School. He took private violin lessons from 1971-73. From 1978-82, he attended The University of Sussex studying experimental psychology. From 1990-93, he attended The University of Bristol, researching the role of tonal hierarchies in musical improvisation.

Graham has been playing jazz on violin professionally since 1982. He cut his jazz teeth while living in Bristol and London in the 1980s, by sitting in everywhere with anyone who would allow him.. From 1988 - 1992 Graham was a member of cult psychedelic jazz-rock band "GONG", touring extensively in France, Italy and the UK, and recording several albums.

Based in NW England since 1996, he has played regularly on the thriving Manchester jazz scene. In 2003, Graham did a solo improvisation tour supporting the American "No-Neck Blues Band" (Paris, Amsterdam, London). Also performed regularly with with Bryan Glancy, until Bryan's untimely death in 2006. Graham is a key member of 'TOOLSHED,' an experimental fusion of techno and big band jazz led by Graham Massey, of 808 State.

Graham has also performed with Lamb, Elbow, La Timbala, Salsa Pa'Gozar, & Liz Fletcher, and others.

In October 2004, he recorded a series of improvised duets with US violinist Mark Feldman. These were broadcast in February 2005 on Radio 3's "Mixing it". Graham was the solo Electric Violinist for the Jean-Claude Vannier concert at the Barbican on 21st October 2006, with Big Jim Sullivan, Vic Flick, Herbie Flowers and Dougie Wright, as well as the BBC Concert Orchestra and Crouch End Festival Chorus . This last work was reprised in Paris in October 2008.

He gives both solo and collaborative improvised performances, and released a CD of duo improvisations with pianist Stephen Grew in late 2008. Graham applies his approach to improvisation to many genres, while striving for a unique violinistic voice.


Henry's Bootblacks: High Society (1984); Daevid Allen: Australia Aquaria (1989); Gongmaison: Gongmaison (1989); Ralph Beauvert: Time and Distance (1989); Dave Fowler & Graham Clark trio: As it was (1990); Gong: Shapeshifter (1992); Mark Robson: Take time to dream (1992); The Magick Brothers: Live in the New World (1992), Live at the Witchwood (1992); Ralph Beauvert: Rite of Passage (1993); Daevid Allen: Dreaming a Dream (1995); Gongmaison: Gongmaison live at Glastonbury Festival 1989 (1996); Clark, Thorne, Fell: Isthmus (1997)); Graham Clark and Stephen Grew, Improvisations Series One (2008)



Information courtesy of the artist

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