Jeff Clayton

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.

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