Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Jazz pianist Gerald Clayton is an adept improviser and composer with a bent toward post-bop and straight-ahead jazz. The son of bassist/bandleader John Clayton, Gerald was born in the Netherlands but grew up in California. Interested in music from a young age, Clayton began studying piano at age seven and eventually graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, after which he earned a music degree from the USC Thornton School of Music. In 2006, Clayton took second place in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Piano Competition. Based out of New York City, Clayton has performed with a bevy of name musicians including trumpeter Roy Hargrove and pianist/vocalist Diana Krall, as well as his father's Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Clayton Brothers trio. Clayton has received several Grammy nods including a nomination for "Best Instrumental Composition" for the song "Battle Circle" off the Clayton Brothers album New Song and Dance. He released his debut solo album, Two-Shade, in 2009, which also garnered a Grammy nomination for "Best Improvised Jazz Solo" for his take on Cole Porter's "All of You." In 2011, Clayton delivered his sophomore album Bond: The Paris Sessions. He returned in 2013 with his third studio album, Life Forum. His first album for Concord Records, Life Forum featured an all-star ensemble including such artists as trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and vocalist Gretchen Parlato.