Kelland Clark

Kelland Clark was born in North Carolina in Sept. 1921.  In 1930, he was living with his family in Wolf Pit, NC in Richmond County.  Kelland was an accordionist who worked with country & western bands like the Tennessee Ramblers, in North Carolina, Atlanta, etc.  He even worked in Nebraska in the mid - 1940s after serving during World War II.  He married Mary Thompson of Chicago and they made their way to Idaho by the late 1940s/early 1950s.  Kelland continued to play accordion, teach organ, and teach grade school for a number of years.  He played with a group in Boise for different events and also played in Sun Valley as the accordionist for the Sun Valley Trio.

Kelland Clark was a self-taught musician and instructor who had an impact on Basque musicians in the Boise area for many years.  Josephine Murelaga met Kelland c. 1950 at a contest where people tried to stump him to name a song he couldn’t play. Liking the way he played accordion, Jo asked if he gave lessons and he did – at the music store, the Melody Shop, and later at Boise Music. He continued giving lessons to Josephine.  She took Kellan and his wife, Mary, to a Basque picnic where he met Jim Jausoro and this encounter turned into a life-long friendship and a love of Basque music, especially jotas and porrusaldas, and a great fondness for Basque culture.  Kelland taught Jimmy to read and write music and he, in turn, learned to play Basque music.

Kelland remained connected to the Basque community throughout his life.  He was a talented musician who also played the organ and piano and is most-known outside the Basque community as the accordionist for the Sun Valley Trio.