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|
|Occupation(s)||Double bassist, Classical bassist|
|Associated acts||Diana Krall, Quincy Jones, Jessica Molaskey, John Pizzarelli|
|Oral History, John Clayton talks about growing up in Venice, California. Interview date August 26, 2009, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Oral History Library|
John Lee Clayton Jr. began seriously undertaking the study of double bass at age 16, studying with bass legend 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 noted instrumentalists such as Bill Cunliffe and Terell Stafford.
He currently serves as Artistic Director for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Sarasota Jazz Festival, Santa Fe Jazz Party, Jazz Port Townsend Summer Workshop, and Vail Jazz Workshop. He also teaches at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and presides as president over the 1,500 member International Bassists Society (IBS).
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, and The Tonight Show Band.
His son, Gerald Clayton, is an accomplished jazz pianist, placing second in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition in 2006.
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.