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Center Jazz

Visit the Kennedy Center Jazz programs Web page

Kennedy Center Jazz Presents
The Clayton Brothers Quintet


Music has been a Clayton family affair for brothers Jeff (sax, left) and John (bass, right) since they were youngsters growing up in Venice, Calif. They loved their mother's church music, but also loved the R&B and soul music they heard on the radio. And the two would mine their uncle's jazz collection together, spinning LPs by Les McCann, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, and The Adderley Brothers Band.

They brothers both served early musical apprenticeships with the Count Basie Orchestra, and formed their own group in 1978, but The Clayton Brothers Quintet (for this show featuring Bill Cunliffe on piano, Jeff Hamilton on drums and Terell Stafford on trumpet and flugelhorn) is just one of many projects for these versatile musicians. John and Jeff are both in-demand as composers and arrangers. John's become a regular here at the Kennedy Center, leading the KC All Star Jazz Orchestra in a series of concerts.

Terell Stafford was a member of Bobby Watson's outstanding group, Horizon. He's recently released his first CD for the MaxJazz label, New Beginnings. Pianist Bill Cunliffe studied with Mary Lou Williams at Duke University, and has toured with Buddy Rich, Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson.

Since 1985, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton have co-led the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, one of the hardest swinging big bands of our generation. Jeff is one of kind. He spent a decade driving the great Ray Brown Trio,

"Runway" (Jeff Clayton/Claytonomics Music/ASCAP)
"Entrez-Vous" (Jeff Clayton/Claytonomics Music/ASCAP)
"Saturday Night Special" (Jeff Clayton/Claytonomics Music/ASCAP)
"You Bossa Nova Me" (John Clayton/Ginger Kids Music/ASCAP)
"Last Stop" (John Clayton/Ginger Kids Music/ASCAP)


  • Kennedy Center Jazz
  • John Clayton on the Web
  • Terell Stafford on the Web
  • Bill Cunliffe on the Web

    Thanks to Derek Gordon and Kevin Struthers of the Kennedy Center.

    This show was written and produced by Mark Schramm, with Becca Pulliam and audio engineer Ginger Bruner of Nevada Public Radio/KNPR-FM in Las Vegas. Our executive producer is Thurston Briscoe, general manager of Jazz 88/WBGO-FM in Newark.

    Copyright 2007 NPR