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Nick Manson.jpg
Nick Manson.jpg

Nick Manson

Dwight Kilian.jpg

Dwight Kilian 


Mike Clark


Charles McNeal


Sandra Bassett

Saturday October 8, 2022  7:00 PM

Mike Clark Quartet
in Concert 

Saxophonist Charles McNeal 
with guest vocalist
Sandra Bassett 

  • Sunday October 9, 2022 

  • 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM:

  • Private Lessons with Mike Clark 

    • On this day, Mike will do one-on-one private lessons. Lessons will be by reservations until all the slots are filled. Mike Clark's Private Lesson price: $150. Click on RSVP and fill out the form. We will contact you to schedule your lesson time. You will make payment directly to Mike at the lesson



The Platinum tickets, first two rows, will be able to attend a Meet & Greet Photo Op with Mike Clark and the other musicians after the two concerts and the clinic 


Mike spends most of his time performing on the East Coast, the West Coast and Europe. There are not enough venues to be able to give him a weeks worth of gigs in AZ, so it is economically not feasible for him to come here or other states.



Bill Travis, Founder and CEO of the Mesa Jazz and Blues Theater, is a 40-year friend of Mike Clark and was able to put together a plan that was workable for Mike. So Mike initially agreed to come out to the Mesa Jazz and Blues Theater in Mesa to perform for three days, plus a day for private drum lessons.

Mike Clark is a good friend of Charlie Hunter. It was through that friendship that Mike was able to get Charlie to agree to take two days out of his very short time home between tours to come down to Mesa and do this event. Mike knew that this would add tremendously to the event for drummers, bass players, guitarists, and the local jazz fans, so Mike worked hard to pull this together for us. We then adjusted the schedule time of the performances on Monday and Tuesday to coincide with the flight schedules so it would be an easier travel for Charlie Hunter.


Charlie will fly in from Portland on Monday and perform the concert that evening. For Tuesday, we planned the Clinic to start and finish early so we can get Charlie to the airport and catch a flight at a reasonable hour so he doesn't have to take a red-eye flight. 

Then, Mike wanted a saxophonist, so he called on his long time friend Charles McNeal in Las Vegas who agreed to come down for the two concerts on Oct 8 and Oct 10. 

Now, Mike has the best guitar/bass player in the world, and the best saxophonist in the world, and we also wanted to include Phoenix based musicians. Mike selected two of the best of the best, Nick Manson on piano and Dwight Killian on bass. 

I wanted to add a vocalist to the October 8 show, so we agreed to book Sandra Bassett, the Queen of Motown, who can sing jazz, blues, Motown and R&B and more. Sandra's talents fit right in with the variety that Mike envisioned for the Oct 8 show. 

Mike is flying in from NY on the 7th and returning home on the 12th, the morning after the last event. That way it is a more leisurely tour for him. 


I value my friendship with Mike, and am very appreciative that he was willing to help put this event together, in order to  bring a fantastic jazz and blues event to our musicians and fans in the Valley. 

Here's a little secret: Mike Clark does not like Scorpions, Black Widows, Rattle Snakes and Coyotes, so he may not come here again! I am going to take him to see the desert and the mountains by the old gold mine so he can gain an appreciation for the desert and its' natural inhabitants while he's here. However, I'll try to keep him at a safe distance from any of the critters while he's here.   :-)

So, all you drummers, tell your keyboard bass and guitar players that this clinic is for them also.  

Legendary Drummer Mike Clark 

The Godfather of Linear Funk Drumming
Famous for his stint with Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters

Special 4-Day Event 


Guitarist Charlie Hunter

International touring artist Charlie Hunter has a custom hybrid 7-string guitar
where he plays Bass and Guitar simultaneously.

Charlie is flying in from Portland for this event 


Saxophonist Charles McNeal

Spectacular saxophonist Charles McNeal performs all over the country. He is based in Las Vegas
where he is in high demand for jazz artists and for shows on the strip


Top Phoenix Based Musicians 

Vocalist Sandra Bassett

Pianist Nick Manson

Bassist Dwight Kilian 


How would you like to hang with Mike or Charlie over Breakfast?

BREAKFAST WITH MIKE CLARK Sunday October 9,  9:30 to 11:00 am

6 persons will have that opportunity

BREAKFAST WITH MIKE CLARK Monday October 10,  9:30 to 11:00 am 

6 persons will have that opportunity

BREAKFAST WITH MIKE CLARK TUESDAY October 11,  9:30 to 11:00 am 

6 persons will have that opportunity

Those seats will go the the first people who RSVP. 

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“He’s a great jazz drummer—and he hasn’t lost any of the stuff that he brought from Oakland. So now he’s totally free to do both, and he does. The solo he played on the album Thrust, on the song “Actual Proof,” is one of the best drum solos on any of my albums. So many people have remarked about that solo, saying, ‘Incredible.’”


-Herbie Hancock


While often referred to as the “Tony Williams of funk,” Mike Clark considers jazz his first love.  He gained worldwide recognition as one of America’s foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock in the early seventies. His incisive playing on Hancock’s “Actual Proof” garnered him an international cult following and influenced generations of drummers.


Mike Clark has performed with such well-known jazz greats as Herbie Hancock, Christian McBride, Chet Baker, John Scofield, Nicholas Payton, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Vince Guaraldi, Woody Shaw, Donald Harrison, Albert King, Larry Coryell, Mike Wolff, Wallace Roney, Billy Childs, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Chris Potter, Bobby McFerrin, Nat Adderly, Oscar Brown Jr., and Gil Evans and his Orchestra.

Born in Sacramento, CA, Mike Clark traveled around the country with his father, a former drummer himself and a union man for the railroad.  His dad had a great appreciation

for jazz and blues music, and Mike absorbed the music of America while riding the rails. He credits this exposure as forming the foundation for his ability to synthesize many different regional styles.  From age 4, he was a prodigy, sitting in--and getting “house” --- with bands in Texas and New Orleans.  And by the time he reached his early twenties he was known as one of the founders of the distinctive East Bay Sound coming out of Oakland, California.


During the late sixties, he led his own jazz organ trio, until he met Hancock in 1973.  With Hancock, Mike set the rhythms for the acclaimed group, The Headhunters.  Afterwards, he did a two-year stint with Brand X, the British jazz/rock fusion band founded by Phil Collins. With them he recorded ”Do They Hurt?” and “Product.”


By 2000 Mike Clark made a foray into the popular jam band scene. His group Prescription Renewal pulled together cross-generational talents, such as Charlie Hunter, Fred Wesley, Skerik, Robert Walter, and DJ Logic, and featured special guests such as Donald Harrison, George Porter Jr. of The Meters, Les Claypool, Larry Goldings and fellow Headhunters alumni Bill Summers. He also toured with The Roots Funk All Stars.


Along with James Brown's drummer Clyde Stubblefield, Mike's beats with The Headhunters (most notably "God Make Me Funky") include some of the most sampled in hip hop. Featured in Downbeat, Musician, International Musician & Recording World, Modern Drummer, Jazz Times, Guitar Player, Jazz Is and numerous jazz history and method books, Mike is a popular and busy clinician. His book Funk Drumming: Innovative

Grooves & Advanced Concepts was published in 2012 by Hal Leonard.

2015 is shaping up to be another musically exciting year.  His second Wolff & Clark Expedition CD releases in February, and his hard bop band “Indigo Blue Live at the Iridium”  arrives six months later, both on Random Act Records.  Both CDs feature Christian McBride on bass, Donald Harrison on alto, Rob Dixon on tenor, Antonio Farao on Piano and Randy Brecker on trumpet.


As a bandleader, his release “Give The Drummer Some” Mike Clark earned a rare four and a half stars in Downbeat. “The Funk Stops Here,” a joint effort with Hancock alumni Paul Jackson got five stars, as did 2011’s “Carnival of Soul.” In 2001, his solo CD “Actual Proof” met with critical acclaim, as did the 2003 acoustic jazz release,  “Summertime,” featuring Chris Potter and Billy Childs, which spent weeks in the top ten jazz charts. 2009’s “Blueprints of Jazz” was considered one of the top jazz releases of the last ten years by Downbeat magazine.


Recently Mike has been co-leading The Headhunters,’ with original founding member Bill Summers.  2012 saw a new Headhunters' release, “Platinum.” which featured guest turns by Snoop Dogg, George Clinton, and Killah Priest.

Mike Clark has produced three releases for the spoken word prophet Tony Adamo, indulging ”Miles of Blu" with Tower of Power Doc Krupka,  bass legend Paul Jackson, Michael Wolff.  Along with drum legend Lenny White (Return to Forever), Mike is co-leading Nu Brew, a double drummer experience in new music.  He also appears on Tower of Power's organist Chester Thompson's new "Mixology."

Charlie Hunter is an American guitarist, composer, and bandleader. First coming to prominence in the early 1990s, Hunter plays custom-made seven- and eight-string guitars on which he simultaneously plays bass lines, chords, and melodies.

Critic Sean Westergaard described Charlie Hunter's technique as "mind-boggling...he's an agile improviser with an ear for great tone, and always has excellent players alongside him in order to make great music, not to show off."

Charlie Hunter's technique is rooted in the styles of jazz guitarists Joe Pass and Tuck Andress, two of his biggest influences, who blended bass notes with melody in a way that created the illusion of two guitars.

Charles McNeal has been a featured performer at many national and international festivals including Monterey Jazz Festival (CA), San Jose Jazz Festival (CA), San Francisco Jazz Festival (CA), Playboy Jazz Festival(CA), Telluride Jazz Festival (CO), Umbria Jazz Festival (Italy), and Porretta Soul Festival (Italy).

He has performed, recorded and/or toured with: Lyle Lovett Large Band, The Headhunters w/Mike Clark and Bill Summers, Jimmy Scott, Charlie Mussellwhite, Keb Mo, John Faddis, Wynton Marsalis, James Carter, Steve Turre, Leslie Drayton, McCoy Tyner, Ray Obiedo, Dave Garabaldi, RAD, and so many more....
Drummer Mike Clark with jazz and blues happening in Mesa in October
Mike Clark jazz and blues happening in Mesa
Mike Clark in jazz drum clinic in Mesa
Mike Clark in jazz and blues concert at Mesa Jazz and blues theater in Mesa
Mike Clark with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters
See Mike Clark Video Samples Below
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