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John Clayton: Playing, Arranging, Teaching & Learning

In video interview from The Jazz Cruise 2013, the bassist talks about playing, arranging and teaching jazz

John Clayton

During the 2013 Jazz Cruise, JazzTimes set up a make-shift video production studio in one of the cabins on the MS Westerdam. Throughout the week, a succession of artists-including Karrin Allyson, Julian Lage, Sean Jones, Terell Stafford, New York Voices, Joey DeFrancesco and many others-came in to talk about the cruise, jazz education and their own projects. You can see more of these video interviews at the JazzTimes YouTube channel.

In these In Person interview segments, bassist John Clayton talked expansively and candidly about a wide range of topics, including about his own musical education and development – from his first musical instrument to his first paid gig – as well as about what he learned from Gerald Wilson. Clayton shares his thoughts on playing with family members (brother Jeff and son Gerald). He discusses his nearly lifelong professional and personal relationship with drummer Jeff Hamlton. And he explains how he learned to arrange music. Clayton performed on Paul McCartney’s album, Kisses on the Bottom and he talks about that experience in the studio with the ex-Beatle.

For more information about John Clayton, you can visit his website.

John Clayton on his first musical instrument and his first paid gig:

John Clayton on his music education:

John Clayton on opportunities for young musicians:

John Clayton on his family in music:

John Clayton on his albums with his brother Jeff and his Parlor Series of recordings:

John Clayton on his mentor, Gerald Wilson:

John Clayton on learning to arrange:

John Clayton on Jeff Hamilton:

John Clayton on Paul McCartney:

Interview by Irene Lee. Video production by Lee Mergner.

Originally Published