Festival Previews, Week 3

Gerald Clayton playing piano on the Triple Door stage

Gerald Clayton photo by Daniel Sheehan.

Sunday, November 1, 7pm PST
Gerald Clayton & John Clayton

Gerald and John Clayton photo by Jim Levitt.

Sponsored by Seed IP

Gerald Clayton is among the most inspiring and captivating forces on the jazz scene today. He tirelessly reinvents avenues for creative exchanges with other artists, transforming his music into a celebration of the inherent differences in musical perspectives that promote true artistic synergy.

Clayton earned a BA in Piano Performance at USC’s Thornton School of Music under the instruction of piano icon Billy Childs, following a year of intensive study with Kenny Barron at The Manhattan School of Music. His burgeoning discography has earned him four Grammy nominations.

Now a Blue Note artist, the acclaimed pianist and composer recently released his label debut Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard with his world-class quintet, featuring Logan Richardson (alto), Walter Smith III (tenor), Joe Sanders (bass), and Marcus Gilmore (drums). As Jazz Times enthuses, “Clayton’s piano contributions, in their wild, free-spilling, lyrical aspiration, are consistently stunning.”

The son of treasured bassist and composer John Clayton, he enjoyed a familial apprenticeship from an early age. Clayton honors the legacy of his father and all his musical ancestors through a commitment to artistic exploration and reinvention. Tonight’s concert offers an outstanding opportunity to enjoy this intergenerational musical juncture.

Bassist John Clayton is an award-winning composer, arranger, conductor, producer and educator. With a Grammy and eight nominations to his name, he has performed with iconic artists Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Regina Carter, and Dee Dee Bridgewater. He was commissioned by leading ensembles in the US and Europe, including the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the American Jazz Philharmonic, The Carnegie Hall Big Band, and the Amsterdam Philharmonic.

John serves as the musical director of several renowned jazz festivals, including the Jazz Port Townsend Festival, attracting prominent artists from across the globe at one of the nation’s premier jazz events. He co-founded the Grammy-nominated Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the Clayton Brothers Quintet, nominated for two Grammy awards. The quintet (John Clayton, Jeff Clayton, Terell Stafford, Gerald Clayton and Obed Calvaire) cooks up sweet original compositions and reinvents standards, expressing their love of this true American art form. –Marianne Gonterman

Sunday, November 1, 8:30pm PST
Reggie Goings Quartet

Reggie Goings singing on stage in a white tuxedo
Reggie Goings photo by Jim Levitt.

Free with Registration

Vocalist Reggie Goings was once a frequent performer on the Seattle jazz scene, performing at venues like the New Orleans Creole Restaurant or hosting the Seattle Jazz Offering at Tula’s for a decade. His musical and social circles included iconic local artists such as Hadley Caliman and Phil Sparks. In recent years, the soulful baritone had been less active, until Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra (SRJO) director Michael Brockman invited Goings to perform in the band’s tribute to another soul legend, the great Ray Charles.

The performance reminded Seattle jazz fans of his blues infused baritone that acted as a perfect fit for the role. Like Charles, his influences are wide ranging, from the pioneering bebop sound of Billy Eckstine, to the suave sophistication of Lou Rawls. His sound is rooted in the blues, infused with the revolution of bop, and refined by the power of soul. The vibrant sensibility he delivers when articulating a standard sounds as if he was groomed on 52nd St., during the rise of Bird and Diz.

Goings will perform with a trio whose names have been etched prominently in the story of jazz music in Seattle over four decades. Pianist Randy Halberstadt has been impactful both as an educator at Cornish College of the Arts, and as a performer at the finest venues in town. He has gained a reputation as a stylish accompanist for vocalists, including Seattle greats Greta Matassa and Gail Pettis. His colorful voicings and harmonic elegance have graced the performances of the SRJO for many years. His SRJO bandmate Phil Sparks has been a first call bassist in Seattle since his arrival thirty years ago. Sparks has performed regularly with Thomas Marriott, Matt Jorgensen +451, and his latest ensemble, Nu Trio with Nathan Breedlove and Brian Kirk. Like Sparks, drummer Jamael Nance goes way back with Goings, frequenting gigs and sessions that centered on tenor saxophonist Hadley Caliman.

The language Goings draws from is steeped in history, and expressed by an artist dedicated to, and humbled by, this quintessential art form we call jazz. In a year when the festival is all about Seattle artists, having Goings in the house is a perfect fit, at a perfect time.–Paul Rauch


Posted on

November 1, 2020