John Clayton (bassist)
|John Lee Clayton Jr.|
John in Rotterdam with Trijntje Oosterhuis.
|Birth name||John Clayton, Jr.|
August 20, 1952|
Venice, California, U.S.
|Genres||Jazz, classical music|
|Associated acts||Diana Krall, Quincy Jones, Jessica Molaskey, John Pizzarelli, Monty Alexander|
Clayton began seriously undertaking the study of double bass at age 16, studying with bassist Ray Brown. By age 19, he had become a bassist on Henry Mancini's television series The Mancini Generation and later graduated in 1975 from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music with a degree in bass performance.
He went on to tour with the Monty Alexander Trio and the Count Basie Orchestra before taking the position of principal bass in the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in Amsterdam, Netherlands. However, after five years he returned to the U.S. for a break from the classical genre to work more towards jazz and jazz composition. He soon founded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with his saxophonist brother Jeff Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton. He and his brother also founded The Clayton Brothers which has featured instrumentalists such as Bill Cunliffe and Terell Stafford.
He has composed and/or arranged for such notable artists as The Count Basie Orchestra, Diana Krall, Whitney Houston, Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, Ernestine Anderson, Quincy Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Natalie Cole, Till Bronner, and The Tonight Show Band.
His son, Gerald Clayton, is a jazz pianist, placing second in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition in 2006.
Benn Ratliff of the New York Times called Clayton, "one of the most technically imposing bassists in jazz."
In 2007, John Clayton won a Grammy for Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s): "I'm Gonna Live Till I Die" (Queen Latifah) John Clayton, arranger. In December 2009 Brother To Brother by The Clayton Brothers received a Grammy nomination in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group category.
- Official site
- Official biography
- Clayton-Hamilton Jazz
- John Clayton Interview by breakthruradio.com
- John Clayton Interview - NAMM Oral History Library (2009)
- Seattle Times: "Hampton fest gets new director"
- Jazz at Centrum: "Artistic Director: John Clayton"
- CRITICS' CHOICE; New CD's: The Clayton Brothers. New York Times. December 22, 2008 https://archive.nytimes.com/query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage-9401E1DF1630F931A15751C1A96E9C8B63.html