The Kennedy Center

Gerald Clayton


Pianist Gerald Clayton, born in 1984, followed in the family tradition (son of bassist John Clayton, nephew of reedman Jeff Clayton) and began classical piano lessons at the age of six. He graduated from Los Angeles County High School for the Arts in 2002, having won the Spotlight Award in 2001 and the Outstanding Soloist Award at the Monterey High School Jazz Competition in both 2001 and 2002. In January 2002, he was chosen to play with the Grammy High School Big Band comprised of high school students selected from the entire United States, and received the "Level 1" Award from the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. He was named Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and in June 2002, performed at Steinway Hall in New York City where he received a scholarship from the Music for Youth Foundation.

He is leader of the Gerald Clayton Trio, all three members of which have been awarded the Shelly Manne Memorial New Talent Award by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. Until Mr. Clayton's departure for Manhattan, where he spent his junior year at New York's Manhattan School of Music while on leave from the jazz studies program of the University of Southern California, the group played a steady gig at Crustacean in Beverly Hills and he appeared regularly in San Diego in a quartet that featured trumpet player Gilbert Castellanos. 

Gerald Clayton last appeared at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater as a member of the Clayton-Hamilton Quintet in a "Tribute to Shirley Horn" on Dec. 11, 2004.

Last updated: March 1, 2007
Gerald Clayton