John Clayton

Jazz icon brings us up to date on current and future projects, the Paul McCartney sessions and more in this follow-up interview!

Exclusive video interview with FBPO’s Jon Liebman
November 11, 2013

John Clayton began learning the double bass at age 16, studying with bass legend Ray Brown. By age 19, John had become a bassist on Henry Mancini’s television series, The Mancini Generation.  In 1975, he graduated from Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music with a degree in bass performance.

John toured with the Monty Alexander Trio and the Count Basie Orchestra before taking the position of principal bass in the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands, where he stayed for five years.  He eventually returned to the U.S. to focus on working in the jazz world. John co-founded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with his saxophonist brother Jeff Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton. From 1999 to 2001, John served as Artistic Director of the Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic program at the Hollywood Bowl and has also led many jazz education programs.

Clayton has composed and/or arranged for such notable artists as the Count Basie Orchestra, Diana Krall, Whitney Houston, Carmen McRae, Nancy Wilson, Joe Williams, McCoy Tyner, Quincy Jones, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Natalie Cole and The Tonight Show band.  He is currently the artistic director for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Vail Jazz Workshop and the Centrum Jazz Workshop & Festival.

FBPO’s Jon Liebman caught up with John at the 2013 convention of the Intenational Society of Bassist at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York.

Watch our interview with John!

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