News and Events

Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Musician to be Featured at SWOSU Jazz Festival

January 8, 2009

Clayton BrothersThe Clayton Brothers Quintet will be the featured group for the 39th annual SWOSU Jazz Festival on February 12-13 in Weatherford.

Seven-time Grammy nominated 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. As a testament to his immense talent and broad ranging appeal, Clayton served as the artistic director of jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1999 through 2001. He is also co-leader of the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra in Los Angeles.

Clayton 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 (including his arrangement "I'm Going to Live Til I Die" which was awarded a Grammy in 2008) and many others.  Many ensembles have commissioned him, 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. 

Clayton was also 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 other 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 and Jeff Clayton prove conclusively, that while blood may be thicker than water, it can also carry an unimpeded flow of pure creativity.  The Clayton Brothers Combo was originally founded in 1977, and while their paths would sometimes diverge, and some personnel have changed, the brothers continued to share a common musical vision that would draw them back together.

The SWOSU Jazz Festival will also feature John Clayton, bass; Jeff Clayton, saxophone; Terell Stafford, trumpet; Ovid Calvaire, drums; and Gerald Clayton, piano.

The concerts will feature the SWOSU Jazz Ensemble "A", directed by Dr. Keith M. Talley, and the guest musicians. Concerts will be held at 1 and 8 p.m. on Friday, February 13. Tickets, which are $10 for general admission and $3 for students, will be on sale at the SWOSU Music Office, Room 100, in the Fine Arts Center starting January 26.  A free concert, featuring The Clayton Brothers Quintet, will be presented on Thursday, February 12, in Room 101 of the Berrong Music Hall.

The Weatherford Arts Council is offering a candlelight dinner and music in the SWOSU Memorial Student Center Ballroom Student Center prior to the jazz concert on Friday evening.  All who attend the 6:15 pm dinner will receive reserved section seating for the 8 p.m. jazz concert.

Tickets for the dinner/Music including the jazz concert are $28 per person. For those who already have jazz tickets, the dinner/music tickets alone are $18 each. For additional information or to purchase Jazz with Pizzazz tickets, contact Jeanine Berrong at 580-772-7238, Linda Hays at 580-774-8485 or e-mail wfordarts@hotmail.com. Deadline for dinner reservations is Tuesday, February 10.

The SWOSU Jazz Festival is presented by the SWOSU Department of Music with the assistance of the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.  For additional information, contact the SWOSU Music Office at 580-774-3708 or email keith.talley@swosu.edu.

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