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Wayman Carver's Legacy

Photo: Clark Atlanta University Archives

I've been researching the incredible artist Wayman Carver this weekend and am hoping to have a larger article on his life and work this coming fall once I do more digging into his music and hopefully the archive at Clark Atlanta University.

Carver broke ground in the 1930s playing flute (along with clarinet and saxophone) with the likes of Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald, and Benny Carter among a host of jazz greats, before moving to Atlanta to teach at his alma mater, Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University.

Carver taught at Clark Atlanta for over twenty years, developing the music program and teaching artists like saxophonists George Adams and Marion Brown.

His legacy as an educator continues today in the work of his former student James H. Patterson, a 1957 graduate, who has been teaching at the University since the 1960s following Carver's death in 1967. Be sure to check out the James Hardy Patterson Foundation at the link here. The AJC recently profiled Dr. Patterson. You can find that article here.

Dr. Patterson is an expert on the history of jazz in Atlanta and beyond and I hope to get a chance to speak with him in the near future.

In the meantime, check out some of these examples of Wayman Carver's flute playing and arranging from his days in New York City in the 1930s. They are incredible.


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