"We Always Swing"® Jazz Series presents
Gerald Clayton Trio
Photo Credit Ben Wolf
We punctuate the 2012/2013 season in rip-roaring fashion with pianist Gerald Clayton, one of the brightest lights in today’s jazz. He makes a return visit to the Jazz Series to close out the season – but for the first time does so as the leader of his talented trio.
Clayton, soon 29, was born in Utrecht, Netherlands, and moved to the United States as a child. To say he comes from a musical family qualifies for an understatement given that his father is the prolific and energetic bassist John Clayton and his uncle is saxophonist Jeff Clayton – both who he works with as a member of the Clayton Brothers. Needless to say Clayton was exposed to a variety of musical styles from a very young age. He studied classical piano extensively for more than a decade, but it was his interest in jazz piano that took off. Having grown up in Los Angeles, Clayton enrolled first in the USC Jazz Studies program and then in the Manhattan School of Music; at different points his teachers included Shelly Berg, Kenny Barron and Billy Childs.
In New York, Clayton’s star rose quickly. From 2006-2008 he worked extensively with trumpeter Roy Hargrove in a variety of settings and stylings – small ensemble to large, straight-ahead jazz to funk. Clayton also attracted the attention of veterans such as Clark Terry, Lewis Nash, Al Foster and Terell Stafford. Duo piano concerts placed him in the company of some of jazz’s best regardless of generation with Clayton sharing the bandstand with Hank Jones, Barron, Mulgrew Miller and Benny Green.
In 2009 Clayton set out on his own, launching the Gerald Clayton Trio with bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Justin Brown. Their debut recording, Two Shade (EmArcy) was well-received; Bond: The Paris Sessions (EmArcy) followed to high praise. To date Clayton has already received a pair of GRAMMY® nominations as well as landing on a number of critics’ “Best of” or “Most Talented” lists.
Audio and Video
Gerald Clayton Trio