Gerald Clayton

Gerald Clayton

Gerald Clayton
Background information
Born (1984-05-11) May 11, 1984
Utrecht, Netherlands
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Piano
Labels Concord
Associated acts The Clayton Brothers
Charles Lloyd
Roy Hargrove
Ambrose Akinmusire
Dianne Reeves
Peter Bernstein

Gerald William Clayton is a jazz pianist and composer born in Utrecht, Netherlands and raised in Los Angeles.


Clayton attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, USC's Thornton School of Music, where he studied piano with Billy Childs, and the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Kenny Barron.

He has performed and recorded with Roy Hargrove, Diana Krall Dianne Reeves Terri Lyne Carrington, Ambrose Akinmusire, Dayna Stephens, Kendrick Scott, Ben Williams, Terell Stafford & Dick Oatts, Michael Rodriguez, Avishai Cohen, and the Clayton Brothers Quintet. Clayton also has enjoyed an extended association since early 2013, touring and recording with saxophone legend, Charles Lloyd. 2016 marks his second year as Musical Director of the Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour, a project that features his trio with Ravi Coltrane, Nicolas Payton, and Raul Midón.

In 2012 and 2013 Clayton received Grammy nomations for The Paris Sessions (Concord) and Life Forum (Concord). In 2010, he was nominated for Best Instrumental Composition for "Battle Circle", which is featured on the Clayton Brothers album, New Song and Dance. In 2009, he was nominated for Best Improvised Jazz Solo for his solo on Cole Porter's "All of You" from his debut album, Two-Shade. His nomination competed with established jazz musicians Terence Blanchard and Roy Hargrove, with whom Clayton toured for several years.

The Clayton Brothers' Brother to Brother received a nomination in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category. Gerald Clayton plays piano on the album, which holds loosely to a theme of songs that were made famous by Thad, Hank and Elvin Jones. Clayton's piano playing was described by Ben Ratliff of The New York Times as "[filling] up the available space" with Clayton "busying himself with prettiness and authority."[1] Ratliff continued, "If you've listened to much hard bop or mainstream jazz of the early '60s, you might find some easygoing clichés in his playing – or maybe even an awful lot of them – but they are smoothly rendered. More important, the friendly rhetoric of this music allows them."[1]


As leader

Year Artist Title Label
2013 Gerald Clayton Life Forum Concord
2011 Gerald Clayton Bond: The Paris Sessions EmArcy
2009 Gerald Clayton Two-Shade ArtistShare

As sideman

Year Artist Title Label
2016 Peter Bernstein Let Loose Smoke
2015 Matthew Stevens Woodwork Whirlwind
2013 Terri Lyne Carrington Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue Concord
2011 Ambrose Akinmusire When the Heart Emerges Glistening Blue Note
2010 Dick Oatts & Terell Stafford Quintet Bridging the Gap Planet Arts
2009 Kendrick Scott Reverence Criss Cross
2009 Melissa Morgan Until I Met You Telarc
2008 Roy Hargrove Earfood EmArcy
2006 Diana Krall From This Moment On Verve
2006 Diana Krall Christmas Songs Verve
2006 Roberta Gambarini Easy to Love Groovin' High/Kindred Rhythm
2005 Laura Welland Dissertation on the State of Bliss Oa2
2004 Teedra Moses Complex Simplicity Tvt
2003 Bobby Rodriguez Trumpet Talk LatinJazz Productions


  1. 1 2 "The Clayton Brothers". December 22, 2008. Retrieved December 4, 2009.

External links

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