The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra Tickets

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The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (CHJO) is an awesome machine that has flourished over the course of twenty one years under inspired and dedicated leadership. "We've worked at creating a family here, rather than just pulling together super players," said John Clayton. It has finally paid off. In the February, 2007 issue of JazzTimes, the Readers voted CHJO the best big band! This followed the December, 2003 issue of Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll where CHJO was named the best big band in America.

In 2005, CHJO released their CD entitled, "Live at Manchester Craftsmen's Guild" to commemorate their 20th anniversary. This CD topped the radio charts for a full seven weeks! John Clayton was nominated for a Grammy© for arranging for the CD. In 2005, the orchestra had the privilege of recording with Diana Krall and is featured prominently in her Christmas CD which was released that November. CHJO also recorded with John Pizzarelli in his tribute to Frank Sinatra. In 2006, the band recorded with legendary Gladys Knight and also backed Diana Krall's new CD, "From This Moment On", which was recently nominated for a Grammy©. In 2007, CHJO was chosen to record with Queen Latifah on her newly released CD entitled "Travlin Light"

From 1998 to 2001, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra served as the resident jazz orchestra for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. CHJO, co-led by bassist John Clayton, his brother, reed player, Jeff Clayton, and drummer Jeff Hamilton, received critical and commercial praise generated by their rousing live concert and festival performances and award winning recordings.

CHJO's Grammy© nominated recording, Groove Shop, was named by CD Review as one of the best recordings of 1990. In addition to performing and recording on their own, they are in demand by people, like Quincy Jones, Diana Krall, Dee Dee Bridgewater, John Pizzarelli, Ernestine Anderson, and Dr. John. In 2004, CHJO was chosen to honor Tommy Lipuma at the Tri C Jazz Festival and performed with George Benson, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, the Brecker Brothers, Little Jimmy Scott and others. At the Kennedy Center later on that same tour, CHJO performed with Liza Minelli, Dianne Reeves, Nancy Wilson, and Regina Carter.

From 1998 through 2001, John Clayton served as the Artistic Director of Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, where he conducted the orchestra and composed most of the music for the ensemble. John was awarded a platinum record for his stirring arrangement of the "Star Spangled Banner" performed by Whitney Houston during the 1990 Super Bowl. Leonard Feather proclaimed John Clayton to be "one of six artists most capable of assuming Miles Davis' role in challenging the boundaries of jazz and inspiring change." He has received a total of six Grammy© nominations.

John's brother, co-leader Jeff Clayton has also imprinted the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with his considerable musical abilities. He plays all of the reed instruments including flutes, the oboe and English horn. He recorded important albums with, among others, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Kenny Rodgers, Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle, Earth, Wind & Fire, and a solo on Madonna's recording "Back in Business". As a jazz musician, he has worked with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Lena Horne, McCoy Tyner, and Dee Dee Bridgewater.

Jeff Hamilton and John Clayton have known each other since they were students at Indiana University. He spent nine years in Ray Brown's trio (with pianist Gene Harris), developing a telepathic musical interaction with Brown and a deep respect for his consummate professionalism. In addition to leading his own band, Jeff has performed with Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Monty Alexander, and the WDR Big Band.

The orchestra comprises many top rated musicians, some of whom have been with CHJO for the entire 22 year stint, including trombonists George Bohanon and Ira Nepus, and trumpeter Clay Jenkins. Most notable among the musicians, is 88 year old "Snooky" Young who continues to tour and record with the orchestra.

  • John Clayton (conductor/ leader), Jeff Hamilton (drummer/ leader), Jeff Clayton (lead alto/ leader)
  • Trumpets: Bijon Watson, Snooky Young, Clay Jenkins, Sal Cracchiolo, Gilbert Castellanos
  • Trombones: Ira Nepus, George Bohanon, Ryan Porter, Maurice Spears
  • Saxes: Keith Fiddmont, Rickey Woodard, Charles Owens, Lee Callet
  • Rhythm: Tamir Hendelman (piano), Christoph Luty (bass), Graham Dechter (guitar)
  • Anthony Stein: Equipment

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