Alto saxophonist Jeff Clayton co-leads the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with his brother John and drummer Jeff Hamilton and is also co-leader of the Clayton Brothers Quartet. Born in Los Angeles, he cites the “emotional majesty” of the Baptist church he attended as a child as his first major musical inspiration. He credits saxophonists Johnny Hodges and Cannonball Adderley as his most significant jazz influences, followed by trumpeter Thad Jones and bassist Ray Brown. The seeds of Jeffs career were sown in the fertile ground of his hometown and he took a break from his studies as an oboe major at Cal State University Northridge to tour with Stevie Wonder. In demand as a touring and studio musician, Jeff has recorded with Wonder, Gladys Knight, Kenny Rogers, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Michael Jackson, Patti Labelle, Madonna and Earth Wind & Fire. He has also worked with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and jazz greats Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton and Lena Horne. He also had a short stint with the Count Basie Orchestra. Jeff has toured with Gene Harris, Dianne Reeves, Joe Cocker, B.B. King and Ray Charles and, from 1989-91, was a member of the Philip Morris Superband. Hes a featured artist on Ray Browns 1990 release “Evergreen” (GMI) recorded with Milt Jackson and on the album the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra released on Quincy Joness label Qwest. Jeff has been member of the Vail Jazz Workshop teaching staff for the past nine years.
In terms of area, it’s the county’s smallest conservation deal ever. In terms of location, it’s one of the county’s rarest acquisitions.