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John Clayton conducts CJO & CYJO in "Side by Side" ft. Gerald Clayton (Mar. 12-15)
(Published: February 10, 2015)

Columbus, OH - The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) continues its 2014-15 Swingin' with the CJO season with "Side by Side" (March 12-15 at the Southern Theatre). From the masters to the disciples, from father to son, generations of jazz are celebrated in this "side by side" tribute to the Great American Songbook!

Grammy Award-winning bassist/composer/arranger John Clayton conducts the CJO side by side with the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra in this tribute to the masters of the Great American Songbook including George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington. Making his return to Columbus is pianist and composer Gerald Clayton (John's son) who has established himself as a leading figure in the up-and-coming generation of jazz artists fluent in the range of styles that make up today's jazz lexicon.

Under the direction of Mark Donavan, the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra (CYJO) provides opportunities for talented high school age musicians to further their experience in America's classical music - jazz. Comprised of premier players in grades 9-12 from central Ohio and beyond, the CYJO has a 30-week season during the school year, and typically performs at the Southern Theatre prior to each of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra's Sunday matinee concerts. The CYJO plays literature of the highest level with repertoire from the libraries of the great big bands, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Oliver Nelson, Benny Goodman and Dizzy Gillespie.

Audience members can join Byron Stripling for a casual and engaging conversation with the wonderful guest artists of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in a new workshop series at the Jazz Academy. "Offstage at the Jazz Academy" provides participants a behind-the-scenes glimpse from the artist perspective on performing with the CJO - adding new perspective to being an audience member. In addition to the opportunity to learn something new, each guest artist will be asked to share what they are currently listening to on their iPods or CD players, introducing audiences to new and exciting music and artists. "Offstage at the Jazz Academy" is free to CJO subscribers and $10 for general registrants. Pre-registration is requested and available online at www.jazzartsgroup.org.

2015 "Offstage at the Jazz Academy" season schedule:
• Saturday, March 14, 2:00 pm - Gerald Clayton (hosted by John Clayton)
• Saturday, April 11, 2:00 pm - Dave Powers & Becca Stevens

Swingin' with the CJO season subscriptions are available through the CAPA Ticket Office at 39 East State Street or by calling 614-469-0939. Single tickets are also on sale for $52 (main floor), $46 (first balcony), and $30 (second balcony) and available through the CAPA Ticket Office and through all Ticketmaster outlets. Student tickets are available for $15 (over 18) and $10 (under 18) with valid ID at the door. For more information call 614-294-5200 or visit www.jazzartsgroup.org.

The 2014-15 Swingin' with the CJO season is made possible by ongoing support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, The Reinberger Foundation, Ann & Tom Hoaglin, and The Westin Columbus. Concert sponsorship for "Side by Side" is provided by Plante Moran, with media support from The Columbus Dispatch, WOSU Public Media, and WMNI AM 920.

About John Clayton:

Grammy Award-winning bassist/composer/conductor, John Clayton's talents are consistently requested by the movers and shakers in the jazz industry, such as Quincy Jones and Tommy Lipuma. Clayton says, "When composing or arranging for the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, I am a disciple of Duke Ellington, Thad Jones, Oliver Nelson, Quincy Jones and Gil Evans, to name just a few." Regarding his bowing techniques, he cites the radically different techniques of Slam Stewart, Major Holley and Paul Chambers as influences. There is no doubt, however, that John has created a niche for himself wherein he stands alone.

As a testament to his immense talent and broad ranging appeal, John Clayton served as the Artistic Director of Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1999 through 2001. In addition, he is Artistic Director for the Centrum Jazz Workshop in Port Townsend, Washington and was also appointed Artistic Director for the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival in 2006. John has written and arranged music for Diana Krall, DeeDee Bridgewater (including her Grammy Award-winning CD, Dear Ella), Natalie Cole, Milt Jackson, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, George Benson, Dr. John, Gladys Knight, Regina Carter, Queen Latifah and many others. He has been commissioned by many ensembles, including the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the American Jazz Philharmonic, The Iceland Symphony, The Metropole Orchestra, The Carnegie Hall Big Band, The Richmond Symphony, the WDR Orchestra, and the Amsterdam Philharmonic. On the other hand, John was awarded a platinum record for his stirring arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner" performed by Whitney Houston during the Super Bowl in 1990. He has won numerous awards such as the Golden Feather Award given to him by the legendary Leonard Feather and the Los Angeles Jazz Society's Composer/Arranger award.

John has served as the musical director of several jazz festivals including the Sarasota Jazz Festival and the Santa Fe Jazz Party. As Artistic Director of the Vail Jazz Workshop, he participates in choosing talented students from across the nation in an intensive week of learning jazz. Last year, he was also appointed as Artistic Director for the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival. Clayton's serious study of the double bass began at age 16 when he studied with famed bassist, Ray Brown. At age 19, John was the bassist for Henry Mancini's television series "The Mancini Generation." Later he completed his studies at Indiana University in 1975, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in Double Bass. Touring with Monty Alexander and the Count Basie Orchestra followed. He held the principal bass position in the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra for more than five years.

The Grammy-nominated Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra is co-led by John, his brother, saxophonist, Jeff Clayton, and drummer, Jeff Hamilton. Also, John co-leads with Jeff, the Clayton Brothers Quintet, who have been nominated for two Grammy Awards.

In an effort to sum up John Clayton's unique expertise, "the man just does it all." He is equally comfortable in jazz and classical music, and hits the mark, whether it is as composer, arranger, conductor, teacher, in addition to his magnificence when he plays his bass.

About Gerald Clayton:

Over the course of eight years, with three albums as a leader, several studio projects as a sideman, and countless worldwide performances, pianist and composer Gerald Clayton has established himself as a leading figure in the up-and-coming generation of jazz artists who are fluent in the range of styles that make up today's jazz lexicon. Hailed by The New York Times for his "huge, authoritative presence," Clayton is well on his way toward etching his own enduring mark in the long and rich tradition of jazz. Never has this been more apparent than in Life Forum, his latest recording on Concord Jazz and his most ambitious project to date.

Born in the Netherlands in 1984 and raised in Southern California, Clayton took his first piano lessons before age seven with the full support and encouragement of his father, the acclaimed jazz bassist, composer and bandleader, John Clayton. Music was a central part of his life from as long as he can remember and it became a lifetime commitment very early on.

In 2006, Gerald received the second place prize in the prestigious Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz Piano Competition. Around that time, he was introduced to trumpeter Roy Hargrove when they were both featured artists at a performance of the Henry Mancini Orchestra. The association resulted in three years of extensive touring with Hargrove between 2006 and 2009, and appearances on Hargrove's recordings, Earfood (2008) and Emergence (2009). Gerald also appeared on recordings by several other artists, such as Diana Krall, Ambrose Akinmusire, Kendrick Scott, Melissa Morgan, Terell Stafford & Dick Oatts, and more recently Michael Rodriguez, Dayna Stephens, Terri Lyne Carrington, and the Clayton Brothers Quintet, led by his father and his uncle, saxophonist Jeff Clayton. Gerald continues to perform regularly with the Clayton Brothers.

Gerald has also earned himself three Grammy nominations including "Best Improvised Jazz Solo" for his rendition of Cole Porter's "All of You" on his debut album Two-Shade (2009), "Best Jazz Instrumental Composition" for his piece "Battle Circle" on the Clayton Brothers recording The New Song and Dance, and "Best Jazz Instrumental Album" for his sophomore release, Bond (2011).

About the Jazz Arts Group:

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America's oldest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. JAG is the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and consists of four focus areas: the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), one of the world's finest professional jazz orchestras; the Jazz Academy, JAG's extensive instructional programs educating both students and adults about jazz and American music; Inside Track, a jazz and blues performance series produced at the historic Lincoln Theatre and beyond; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment opportunities for professional musicians.

More Information: http://www.jazzartsgroup.org

Submitted By:
Jazz Arts Group of Columbus


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