Whether he’s performing on tour throughout Europe, the US, or across Canada, or grilling a BBQ feast or
crafting the perfect cocktail, Tristan Clark knows a thing or two about pulling disparate elements
together into a new and beautiful tapestry. Growing up in Nanaimo, British Columbia (on the beautiful
west coast of Canada) he was raised in a home where the record player was always spinning and
concerts were the ultimate family outing. His early exposures spanned many genres including prog-rock,
blues, jazz, folk and pop. These influences and inspirations are apparent in the depth of his songwriting
and the versatility of his playing.
Tristan left Nanaimo at 18 years old to pursue jazz studies at Humber College in Toronto. It was there
that that classmates turned to bandmates and the original iteration of The Tristones was formed. After
several years of playing on the live Toronto scene, they released their debut full-length album, ‘Donkey’
in 2012. With aspirations to take his career to the next level, in 2014 Tristan packed up his guitars and
relocated to New York City.
Always the music-mixologist, Tristan reformed The Tristones in NYC with featured players Gregory Jones
on bass and Adam Jackson on drums, continuing his signature blend of rock, blues, funk and jazz
influences. The Tristones have been pleasing crowds for the last year and half with a monthly residency
at NYC’s Groove among other venues.
In Fall 2018, The Tristones headed into studio in Portland, Maine to record their sophomore album,
Camaro. There, Clark teamed up with powerhouse bassist and producer Stu Mahon (The London Souls,
Eric Krasno Band) and engineer Jon Roods (The Rustic Overtones) to bring the full-length album to life.
Tracks on Camaro feature stellar guest appearances by keyboardist Dylan Hemming, vocalist Camille
Miller, multi-instrumentalist Tina Jones and guitarist Tristan Armstrong. The album was mixed and
mastered at Mountainview Studio by Rick Salt, as well as by Mike Beck at Refuge Recording.
While listening through the various tracks on the upcoming release, one can appreciate Tristan’s
breadth of influences, his immaculate sense of groove and rhythm, his mastery of various genres and
even get a glimpse of his sense of humor. The title track, Camaro, is a hilarious, slightly dirty play on
perspective about a car (or is it about a girl?!) that is out of his reach. Says Clark of Camaro, “I wrote that
one in less than 20 minutes and couldn’t stop laughing out loud the whole way through”.
The debut single, ‘Love Avenue’, is an ode to New York City, Tristan’s adopted home of the past 5 years.
This sultry roots-rock tune takes listeners on various subway rides to his favorite gems in Manhattan,
Harlem, Williamsburg and Park Slope. Clark’s perspective on the tune: “Love Ave is about exploring great
places in New York and making memories at these places, but always finding your way back home to
those you love”. The full album, Camaro, will be released in early 2020.
In addition to playing and touring with The Tristones, Tristan also teaches guitar as adjunct faculty for
New York University’s Music and Performing Arts Department and performs in Project Grand Slam – a
jazz-rock fusion band whose recent album, Trippin’, recently reached No. 1 on the Billboard
Contemporary Jazz Chart.