Born: February 16, 1954 Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Reed player Jeff Clayton began his career as both a touring and studio musician. He recorded important albums with, among others, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Kenny Rodgers, Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Earth, Wind & Fire, and a solo on Madonna's recording Back in Business...
As a jazz musician, Jeff Clayton has worked with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Lena Horne, McCoy Tyner, and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
From Jeff's personal bio:
From Thad Jones who led the Count Basie Orchestra when I was on the band the second time I learned the art of rehearsal---- how to give musicians the support they needed to create without restrictions. He had a wonderful heart.
From my life long association with Ray Brown I learned about expression, being yourself no matter what and to do what you do best. “Push through the music phrase”, Ray would say, “put it out there”. He left a void in our lives .
From years in the studio and on stage with Frank Sinatra, I was shown how to embrace long phrases and how to just state the melody. Benny Carter told me, “the writer wrote the melody for a reason Jeff”.
While playing on the Gene Harris Philip Morris Super band with Sweets Edison, the economy of ideas comes to mind. My musical experience through application has been rare and invaluable.
Music is not mine to keep only to have and to hold...... I must give back what I have been so freely given so I spend a good amount of time teaching.
University of Southern California from 2000 to 2004 Shelly Berg, Dr. Ron Mc Curdy
UCLA from 1998 to 2002 Kenny Burrell Jazz Studies Head
Numerous Jazz Camps and Clinic Credits are: Vail Jazz Camp 94’--2004 Stanford Jazz Camp 2001 University of Notre Dame with Jon Faddis 2003 Port Townsend 91--93
I am co-leader in a band with my brother John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton called the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. John and I also continue our original childhood group The Clayton Brothers. Both groups tour and showcase original compositions and arrangements by me Jeff, and John Clayton.