| Back to

This Week
About JazzSet
Tune In
E-mail JazzSet


The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with Regina Carter

Listen to JazzSet Listen to Part 1

Listen to JazzSet Listen to Part 2

Big bands and Southern California are a good match. In the 1940s many name bands mustered out of Los Angeles. Later, sidemen and women found new work in film and a new medium. Johnny Carson kept a band working nightly at NBC in Burbank.

Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Jeff Clayton

Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Jeff Clayton

This JazzSet features one night on the 20th anniversary tour of the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, a big band of jazz-loving studio players from Los Angeles. They're as close as family; in fact two of the three men in charge are brothers. They're arranger/conductor/bassist John Clayton and woodwinds player Jeff Clayton, with co-leader Jeff Hamilton, drums. Violinist Regina Carter joins in as special guest at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The Clayton brothers grew up in Venice, Calif., hearing gospel music through their mother and jazz through an uncle. At age 16, John Clayton studied his instrument with jazz master Ray Brown. John Clayton was principal bassist with the Amsterdam Philharmonic for five years. He also toured with and wrote for Count Basie; you'll hear the Basie swing in John Clayton's tempos. Jeff Clayton majored in oboe until he went on the road with Stevie Wonder. As a freelancer, Jeff Clayton has countless credits in jazz and pop. Jeff Hamilton's discography is a Who's Who too, including Frank Sinatra, Benny Carter and Diana Krall (not to mention Dee Dee Bridgewater).

Regina Carter

Regina Carter (Photo: Giorgio Scola)

Regina Carter studied the violin from childhood, but she learned how to play jazz sitting in the saxophone section of her college band and bowing along. Just for fun, she joins the saxes onstage tonight.

Soon after our April 2006 premiere broadcast, Carter released I'll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey, produced by John Clayton with Dee Dee Bridgewater singing two songs. And to add to the excitement, Regina Carter became a 2006 MacArthur Fellow, one of only 25 people each year to be awarded this tremendous honor.

Charles Owens, Rickey Woodard, Jeff Clayton, Keith Fiddmont, Lee Callet, saxophones
Ryan Porter, Ira Nepus, George Bohanon, Maurice Spears, trombones
Gilbert Castellanos, Clay Jenkins, Eugene "Snooky" Young, Bijon Watson, Sal Cracchiolo, trumpets
Tamir Hendelman, piano
Christoph Luty, bass
Jeff Hamilton, drums

"Georgia" (H. Carmichael, arr. John Clayton)
"Lullaby of the Leaves" (B. Petkere & J. Young, arr. John Clayton from an arrangement by Tamir Hendelman)
"Like A Lover" (Bergman, Caymmi, Motta arr. John Clayton)

With Regina Carter as soloist
"Imagine My Frustration" (Strayhorn)
"A-Tisket, A-Tasket"

With Regina Carter in the saxophone section
"Reverence" (John Clayton)

Closing Music
"Come Sunday" (Ellington)


  • Snooky Young at Tony Gieske's Site,
  • Regina Carter
  • Regina Carter, MacArthur Fellow
  • Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
  • Kennedy Center Jazz

    Thanks to Kevin Struthers and the Kennedy Center staff of Sean Costello and Jean Thill, and crew of Joe Stanton and Peggy Dahlquist. Recording engineer Greg Hartman with Chris Weal and Mark Barrie of Big Mo Recording.
    Our writer is Brian Sanders.
    Our recording engineer is Ginger Bruner @ KUNV Las Vegas.
    Our Technical Director is Duke Markos.
    JazzSet is produced by Becca Pulliam, with Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe III of Jazz 88, WBGO in Newark, New Jersey.

    Copyright 2007 NPR