Three-time Grammy nominee John Clayton is prominent in both the classical and jazz fields. John began seriously studying the bass at 13 with Ray Brown and at 19 became the bassist for Henry Mancini’s series “The Mancini Generation.”
fter graduating in 1975 from the University of Indiana with a Bachelor of Music degree in double bass, John toured with Monty Alexander and the Count Basie Orchestra.
Moving to Amsterdam, he then held the position of principal bassist in the Amsterdam Philharmonic for the next five years. John’s work as a composer and arranger has been guided by, among others, Robert Farnon, Count Basie, Johnny Mandel, Mancini, Marty Paich and Frank Foster.
He has written and arranged music for Diana Krall, Dee Dee Bridgewater (including her Grammy-winning “Dear Ella”), Natalie Cole, Regina Carter, Milt Jackson, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, George Benson and Dr. John.
He has also received commissions from the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the American Jazz Philharmonic, the Iceland Symphony, the Metropole Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Big Band, the Richmond Symphony and the Amsterdam Philharmonic among other ensembles. John is a former music director of the Sarasota and Santa Fe jazz festivals, and is the Director of Education and a Board member for the Vail Jazz Foundation. He has been the Director of the Vail Jazz Workshop for the past nine years.