Born Kenneth Clarke Spearman in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, later known as Liaqat Ali Salaam, Kenny Clarke was a major bop drummer.
He was a founding member of The Modern Jazz Quartet, and one of the Savoy strongholds.
Kenny Clarke (January 2, 1914 – January 26, 1985), born Kenneth Spearman Clarke, nicknamed "Klook" and later known as Liaqat Ali Salaam, was a jazz drummer and bandleader. He was a major innovator of the bebop style of drumming. As the house drummer at Minton's Playhouse in the early 1940s, he participated in the after hours jams that led to the birth of Be-Bop, which in turn led to modern jazz. While in New York, he played with the major innovators of the emerging bop style, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Curly Russell and others, as well as musicians of the prior generation, including Sidney Bechet. He spent his later life in Paris.