"Get someone young and help them": Stanley Clarke confirms new touring line-up and the importance of mentoring

Stanley Clarke with his 2023 4Ever Band
(Image credit: Stanley Clarke)

Bass heroes don’t get much bigger than Stanley Clarke, yet for all his achievements to date, there’s a new sense of urgency about his latest project, which is heading out on tour following a pandemic-induced hiatus. Clarke, a still youthful-looking 71, is using his position as one of jazz’s senior figures to mentor a young band of new-talent – just like he was mentored by the jazz greats who were around when he was a young upstart in New York.

“When I came to New York everybody was there," says Clarke. "I saw Monk, Miles was there… I was playing every night, and I got a chance to see great musicians that had their ties all the way back to Louis Armstrong. So what I try to do is pass that on to the younger guys through stories and little lessons.”

The 4EVER tour brings together an exciting core band including Jeremiah Collier on drums, Jahari Stampley on piano, Colin Cook on guitar, and Emilio Modeste on saxophone. “The plan for me, believe it or not, is I’ll play with these guys and then I’m hoping that they get their own things together so they can do their own records,” says Clarke. “It’s pretty much like the jazz tradition: get someone young and help them through. It’s a good feeling.”

The new tour follows a string of dates in the US and Europe and will commence Friday, January 11th at MIM Music Theater in Phoenix, Arizona, making stops in San Francisco, Cincinnati, London, Vienna, Zurich and more, before wrapping up at the Tampere Jazz Happening festival in Finland on November 4th.

Stanley Clarke 2023 4Ever tour dates

(Image credit: Stanley Clarke)

For a full list of dates, and to purchase tickets for the upcoming 4EVER tour, head to Stanley’s official website.

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Nick Wells

Nick Wells was the Editor of Bass Guitar magazine from 2009 to 2011, before making strides into the world of Artist Relations with Sheldon Dingwall and Dingwall Guitars. He's also the producer of bass-centric documentaries, Walking the Changes and Beneath the Bassline, as well as Production Manager and Artist Liaison for ScottsBassLessons. In his free time, you'll find him jumping around his bedroom to Kool & The Gang while hammering the life out of his P-Bass.