Korean musician shares her bluegrass rhythms with Denver
After studying opera for most of her life, Grace Clark targeted bluegrass as music genre. Raised in Michigan, Clark ventured to Colorado at the age of 18 to attend The Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver (DU).
“I can’t imagine my life without music because so much of my life is music,” she said during an interview at a coffee shop. “There’s a level of humility.”
Growing up fast, at 16, Clark attended the prestigious arts boarding school, Interlochen Arts Academy. She was surrounded by amazingly talented peers, who were musicians, artists, writers and filmmakers. She enjoyed seeing the passion and collaboration among these young artists.
“I was exposed to other musicians, people from all over,” Clark said.
Grace Clark Band
Clark’s band of five called Grace Clark Band is an ensemble that includes herself, a bass player, guitarists, a banjoist and fiddler. Because of the intimate community, she met her band members from jazz jams, friends of friends and from her university.
With the band, Clark dived into the music business such as booking shows, posting on social media, and the money part of it all. “They don’t teach these behind-the-scenes in school,” Clark admitted.
When she’s not performing, she’s a music teacher at The Language School. She’s also a theatre/vocal instructor at the Neighborhood Music Stapleton at Stanley Marketplace and theatre teacher at Boston K-8 School.
Clark described The Language School as a “unique space to immerse a student in a beautiful way to art, music and language.”
The World of Bluegrass
In bluegrass, Clark admits the tunes are oriented to a Caucasian audience and songs are often about the history of the mountains. “It has a masculine energy and is heavily instrumental,” she said.
“It’s also a small community and as a woman of color, it’s hard to sit in my own confidence.”
But she didn’t want to be just one singer. “The word ‘diva’ gets a bad rap,” she said.
She writes a majority of her songs. Her songwriting comes from failed loves, mantras and lessons to herself. “It’s a scary process,” she said. “It’s a creative space that makes me vulnerable to everyone who hears the lyrics.”
Her experiences trigger the song writing process. For example, she tells a story of a dear friend who died from drug overdose. Her music sounds like soothing lullabies with a Colorado twist. You can find her music on her website graceclarkmusic.com, YouTube and Spotify.
Her band performs in different venues throughout Denver and its surrounding suburbs. She has enjoyed living in Denver since graduating from DU in 2016. “It’s a great fit,” she said.
Follow Mary Jeneverre Schultz on Instagram @Jeneverre.