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Clarke Peters

Michael Berkeley talks to actor Clarke Peters, best known for his roles in The Wire and Treme, about his passion for breaking down barriers between musical traditions.

Michael Berkeley talks to the actor Clarke Peters about his passion for breaking down barriers between musical traditions.

Best known for his television roles as Detective Lester Freeman in The Wire and Albert Lambreaux in Treme, Clarke has also appeared in films such as Notting Hill, Mona Lisa and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

And he has a rich career in music too – from busking in France in his youth to working as a backing singer for David Essex and for Joan Armatrading – if you listen carefully you can hear him on her iconic song Love and Affection. And he’s appeared in Chicago, Chess, and Porgy and Bess to name but a few musicals. In 1990 he created the award winning revue Five Guys Named Moe, based on the music of Louis Jordan.

Clarke’s choices of music reflect the trans-Atlantic nature of his life: a piece written in France by the New Orleans composer Gottschalk, which he heard when filming Treme; music by Ravel and by Debussy; and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which always takes him straight back to his birthplace, New York. And his final piece – Nat King Cole playing Rachmaninoff - illustrates perfectly his desire to open people’s ears to the cultural breadth of classical music.

Producer: Jane Greenwood
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3

Available now

36 minutes

Music Played

  • Joan Armatrading

    Love and Affection

    Singer: Joan Armatrading.
  • Louis Moreau Gottschalk

    Bamboula, Op.2

    Performer: Roger Lord.
  • George Gershwin

    Rhapsody in Blue

    Performer: Freddy Kempf. Orchestra: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Andrew Litton.
  • Heitor Villa‐Lobos

    Prelude no.1

    Performer: Eduardo Fernández.
  • Maurice Ravel

    Lever du Jour (Daphnis et Chloe)

    Orchestra: Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor: Yannick Nézet‐Séguin.
  • Claude Debussy

    La Mer

    Orchestra: Hallé. Conductor: Sir Mark Elder.
  • Sergey Rachmaninov

    Prelude in C sharp minor

    Performer: Nat King Cole. Performer: Oscar Moore. Performer: Johnny Miller.

Broadcast

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