Clifford Tetle

Clifford Tetle

BandJazzChildren's Music

The bass clarinet is as unique an instrument to look at as it is to hear. I try bringing a unique sound and approach to it, while still respecting and drawing from past greats like Eric Dolphy on it.


I started out playing clarinet in 4th grade. In high school I got a tenor sax for my birthday. My beginnings on bass clarinet started long before I actually ever played one; if that makes any sense. Once I heard it's beautiful sounding low register
, strange but delightful middle register, and soaring upper register, something inside me told me that I could tame this beast. Well I finally got one with the help of Emilio Lyons at Rayburn Music Company, and I've been trying to tame it ever since. Playing it is a true joy!

The music I play ranges from the standards penned by many of the great songwriters; Gershwin,Cole Porter; just to name a couple, to jazz and blues originals. Most of my past influences are made up of saxophone players and Bb clarinet players too many to mention. However different than on saxophone or clarinet, not many paved the way on bass clarinet other than the great Eric Dolphy. My philosophy on playing is simple ; play me; good or bad; depending how I'm feeling. If I end up sounding like someone else when I play; how good is that? It's already been done before. If you want to hear it again, listen to the performance of the musician who played it originally . My goal is to bring a unique sound , style and approach to the musithat has not been brought out before; while still respecting past greats on the axe like Eric Dolphy. It doesn't always happen like, but this is what I strive for when I play.