WIAA Hall of Fame Contact
WIAA Assistant Executive Director
|Clarence Acox |
Clarence Acox Jr. has been the Director of Jazz Bands at Garfield High School since 1971. He arrived in Seattle after teaching at Southern University in New Orleans. Eight years after being hired on at Garfield to teach the marching band, Acox Jr. took over the jazz band. Under his direction he has transformed the jazz band into one of the best in the country. The Garfield Jazz Ensemble has attended nearly every major competition on the west coast and has been nationally recognized. From 2000-2010, the ensemble took part in the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival, held at the Lincoln Center in New York. They took home first place four times, (2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010), more than any other high school in America. They also finished second in 2002 and 2008 at the competition. The jazz ensemble has had the opportunity to travel and perform all over the world, including Switzerland and the Netherlands. They have performed with many musicians, including Quincy Jones and Wynton Marsalis.
Acox Jr.’s accomplishments include being named the Musician of the Year in 1991 by the Earshot Jazz Society and being inducted into the Earshot Jazz Society’s Hall of Fame in 1994. He was named the Educator of the Year in 2001 by Downbeat Magazine, and in 2008, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine named him one of the “50 Most Influential Musicians in the History of Seattle Music.” He also received the Mayor’s Arts Award from Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels in 2007.