Interview with Clarence Penn, Drummer for Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60!
By Lois Mummaw, President Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan (JAMM)
When Bob Hoffman, Wharton Center Public Relations Manager, contacted me in late February and asked if I would be willing to interview a member of the Newport Jazz Festival in anticipation of the concert coming to Wharton Center, I thought, “I’ve never really interviewed anybody!”
Then, when Bob suggested I speak with the drummer, Clarence Penn I agreed to do it, but not just because Clarence is from Detroit. I agreed because I have a soft spot in my heart for drummers. My son is a drummer. To me, drummers represent the beat of life…and of jazz. We spoke by phone and once I told him I was not a journalist, as such, he actually seemed a bit relieved. Here then is our wonderful conversation: