School of Music > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Joe Clark

Joe Clark

  • Adjunct Faculty Member
  • Musicianship
  • Aural Training Coordinator​

BM DePaul University
MM DePaul University

Courses Taught
Aural Training
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Understanding Music

Praised as “haunting” (Chicago Tribune), “very intriguing and attractive” (Journal of Singing), and “a tour de force” (Chicago Classical Review), the music and multimedia work of Joe Clark is an ambitious synthesis of traditions in “an emphatic new voice that should be heard” (AllAboutJazz).

Clark's compositions and arrangements have been performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, Jeff Hamilton, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Marquis Hill, Kurt Elling, Phil Woods, Ira Sullivan, Julia Bentley, the Minnesota Orchestra, WDR Big Band, the Chicago Brass Quintet, the Chicago Sinfonietta, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Bob Lark and his Alumni Big Band, the New Standard Jazz Orchestra, Quince, Chicago Q Ensemble, V3NTO, the Spektral Quartet, players from the Grant Park Symphony and Louisiana Philharmonic, and ensembles worldwide. He has written extensively for The Negaunee Music Institute at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra including the Once Upon a Symphony, Orchestra Explorers, and CSO for Kids programs. 

His work can be heard on many albums, including “Sisters in Song” (2018) featuring Nicole Cabell, Alyson Cambridge, and the Lake Forest Symphony and four recordings as a leader: "Lush" (2013), "The C.O.W.L. Sessions" (2014), "Arcana: This Sounds Like Us" (2017), and “Black and Cardinal” (2024). In recent years, Joe Clark has written comics and graphic novels in a fruitful collaboration with New York Times best-selling author Kyle Higgins. Their six-part miniseries Deep Cuts has been praised as “an absolute triumph of the medium” (Comic Book Resources). 

Joe Clark is the recipient of multiple Luminarts Awards, the Kleinman Composition Award, a DownBeat Student Music Award, a Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) IAP Grant, and the Claire and Samuel Edes Foundation Prize for Emerging Artists. He has been on the faculty of DePaul University since 2012 and Northwestern University since 2014.