Brendan Clarke is an Australian jazz bassist who was born in Brisbane and raised in Canberra where he studied jazz bass at the Canberra School of Music. Since relocating to Sydney in 1999 he has become one of the busiest double bassists on the jazz scene and is known for his sublime sense of swing, commanding sound, groove and musicality on the bass. In 2001 Brendan was the first bass player ever to win the prestigious National Jazz Award at the Wangaratta Jazz Festival. Since then Brendan has played bass on over 40 albums and has appeared at all the major Australian jazz festivals including the Manly Jazz Festival, Thredbo Jazz Festival, Wangaratta festival of Jazz and Blues, Bellingen Jazz Festival, Dubbo Jazz Festival, Freemantle Jazz festival, Glenelg Jazz Festival and the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. He has toured Europe several times including performances at the Berlin jazz festival with the Sandy Evans Trio and Locarno film festival with David Blenkhorn. In 2004 he recorded at the famous Rainbow Studios in Oslo, Norway as part of a European tour with the Sydney band “Theaktet” led by saxophonist David Theak. Brendan has also represented Australia and performed in the Australian pavilion at World Expo in Japan in 2005 and again in Shanghai, China in 2010 with the George Washingmachine Trio.
In 2005 he was awarded an arts council grant to study in New York City with jazz bass luminaries Curtis Lundy and Rufus Reid. He has also been nominated for the Freedman Fellowship on two occasions. He is currently completing a Masters degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has continued his double bass studies with Craig Scott, Alex Henery and Kees Boersma.
Brendan has accompanied many top international and national artists including Chris Potter, Eric Alexander, Maria Schneider, Darcy James Argue, John Riley, Charles McPherson, Bob Shepard, Alex Sipiagin, Kirk Lightsey, Jim McNeely, Wycliffe Gordon, Barbara Morrison, Don Rader, Dale Barlow, Joe Chindamo, Vince Jones, James Morrison, James Muller, Simon Tedeschi, Bobby Gebert, Andrew Dickeson, John Harkins, Bernie McGann and is a long standing member of the Jazzgroove Mothership Orchestra. He is equally at home and has shared the stage with a wide range of other well known performers including renowned world music ensemble Mara!, Renee Geyer, Grace Knight, Caroline O’Connor, Glenn Shorrock, Simon Burke and David Campbell.
Brendan also leads his own quartet and has recently released his debut album as leader “Stretch” featuring Andrew Gander on drums, guitarist Carl Dewhurst and Murray Jackson on alto saxophone.Read more
- Stay Right With It by Michael P. Gladstone
“ I have to say that each one on Brendan Clarke’s bass solos was a remarkable spontaneous composition.” - John Clare
Willing to teach
Beginner to advanced
Currently Senior Bass Lecturer at Jazz Music Institute (JMI) in Brisbane, Australia Director of Jazz Group one at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Open Academy. Private teaching specialising in preparing students for tertiary level auditions.
Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson
Death of Expertise
Stay Right With It
La Brava Music