The Artist Geoffrey Bryan Clapp started playing at age three when his parents, Ramona and Donald gave him a much anticipated green and blue sparkle toy drum set one very memorable Christmas morning.Throughout his high school years, Geoff was involved in various musical situations from church groups to The Northeast Middle School Jazz Ensemble, to the NC All State Band. From 1987-1989, he studied Classical Percussion at the North Carolina School of Arts located in Winston Salem, North Carolina under the tutelage of Massie Johnson. In the summer of 1989, the NCSA Jazz Ensemble and classical quartet went on a European tour representing the school and sharing its talents. In the fall of 1989, Geoff headed south to New Orleans to study Jazz Performance at the University of New Orleans with the legendary Ellis Marsalis.
“After meeting Wynton Marsalis and Herlin Riley at a concert in Chapel Hill, my plans shifted from studying Classical music in New York, to rooting myself in the Crescent City to become a jazz musician. I’ve never looked back.” While settling in the rich musical soil of New Orleans, Geoff’s true musical journey began. Immersing himself in the culture of the city and becoming close with local drummers Brian Blade, Johnny Vidacovich and Stanton Moore, and Stanley Stephens, Geoff was introduced to many new styles of music. “They hipped me to so much - the best coffee shops, clubs, eats, music shops. We also established a few hot spots ourselves: Kaldi’s Coffeehouse, Cafe Brasil and Cafe Roma.During his formative years in New Orleans, Geoff became one one of the city’s most sought after drummers, not only for Jazz but many genres of music. Throughout his career he has performed, recorded and toured with such musicians as Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison Jr., Ellis Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Dianne Reeves, Wynton Marsalis, Eric Reed, Christian McBride, Peter Martin, Charlie Hunter Trio & Quintet, Delfeayo Marsalis, Robert Glasper, Jamil Sharif, Wessell "Warm Daddy" Anderson, Reuben Rogers, Aaron Goldberg, Jason Marsalis Trio, Jeremy Davenport, Benny Green, Ron Blake, Steve Masakowski, Roland Guerrin, Aaron & Charmaine Neville, Picnic, Louque and Norah Jones. Geoff has played over 200 studio sessions, an A&E Special featuring Dianne Reeves and three film scores. Recently, he was asked take part of the recording of the first African-American musical version of "A Streetcar Named Desire" re-scored by Terence Blanchard in 2012. It is now running on Broadway with this soundtrack. In 2008, Geoff was voted best Modern Jazz Drummer by New Orleans Magazine.
Geoff has Toured Europe, Asia, Africa, Canada.He has also had the honor of performing and teaching as a United States Artistic Diplomat in North Africa and Eastern Europe! This was sponsored by Jazz @ Lincoln Center and again by The Kennedy Center on 3 separate occasions.Currently, Mr. Clapp is working on releasing his first project as a leader featuring: Peter Martin, Reuben Rogers, Ellis Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, Peter Bernstein and Khari Allen Lee.
Copyright 2013. Geoff Clapp. All Rights Reserved.