John Clayton began seriously undertaking the study of double bass at age 16, studying with bass legend Ray Brown. He toured with the Monty Alexander Trio and the Count Basie Orchestra before taking the position of principal bass in the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in Amsterdam, Netherlands. After five years he returned to the U.S. to work more towards jazz and jazz composition, soon co-founding the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and The Clayton Brothers. From 1999 to 2001 he served as Artistic Director of the Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic program at the Hollywood Bowl and has also conducted the All-Alaska Jazz Band. He currently serves as Artistic Director for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Sarasota Jazz Festival, Santa Fe Jazz Party, Jazz Port Townsend Summer Workshop, and Vail Jazz Workshop. He also teaches at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and presides as president over the 1,500 member International Bassist Association. He has composed and/or arranged for countless notable artists.
Clayton is on the advisory board of the California Jazz Foundation.
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