Very few artists successfully cross back and forth from jazz to classical and back again: Wynton Marsalis, Arturo Sandoval, and Duke Ellington come to mind. But now add to the list Dallas vocalist Damon K. Clark. Already acclaimed for his unusual sensitivity, versatility and virtuosity, Damon is as much at home with Thelonius Monk’s “’Round Midnight” as he is with Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma.” The mellifluous tenor minimizes the aesthetic distance between the classical and jazz worlds.
While Damon’s tessitura and timbre could be described as Bobby McFerrin-esque, his approach to the material is unique. Damon’s scatting in particular exhibits a classical precision, while hinting at his affection for Ella Fitzgerald’s and Mel Tormé’s improvisational skills. Damon’s take on songs like Gershwins’ “They All Laughed” is a highlight, showcasing his astonishing range, playful scatting, melismatic mastery and elastic phrasing.
Damon has shared the stage with seven time nominee and Grammy winner Paula Cole. He has also frequently performed with Grammy and Stellar Award winner Andrea Wallace. As far as collaborations go, Damon has also made music with some of the greatest musicians in Dallas like Myles Tate III, Tom Braxton, Bernard Wright, Eric Willis, and producer of Beyonce’s “The Best Thing I Never Had”, Caleb Sean McCampbell to mention a few. Damon’s is never far away from his classical roots. He has also shared the stage and sung with opera luminary and countertenor John Holliday of the Metropolitan Opera.
With a performance career that has taken him to Europe, many parts of the United States, and in many venues in Dallas including the Winspear Opera House, Dallas City Performance Hall, and the Sammons Center for the Performing Arts, he considers Oak Cliff’s Kessler Theater to be his artistic home.