JazzFestBrno: Gerald Clayton Trio

16/09/21, 19:30

An original fusion of hip-hop, R’n’B and jazz by a trio of the pianist who has established himself as one of the leading figures in the coming generation of jazz artists. His trio plays so naturally in the tangle of different styles that it creates modern jazz language.

In 12 years of banding activity, Clayton recorded five albums of his own, he was a sideman in many other studio projects and was involved in countless performances around the world. The New York Times entitled him a “prominent and authoritative figure”. Without a question, Clayton will be remembered as a high-ranked musician in the age-old and rich jazz tradition.

Gerald was born in the Netherlands in 1984 and raised in Southern California. He took his first piano lessons at the age of seven with the support of his father, the acclaimed jazz bassist, composer and bandleader John Clayton. Gerald later moved to New York to attend the Manhattan School of Music. In 2006, he won second place in the prestigious Thelonius Monk International Competition. At that time, he was also introduced to the trumpeter Roy Hargrove, he joined his band immediately and was its member between 2006 and 2009. Gerald also appeared on records made by several other major artists, including Diana Krall, Ambrose Akinmusire and the Clayton Brothers Quintet. His latest record, Happening: Live at the Village Vanguard, is a reminder of the artistic freedom of the pre-covid age. It was published by Blue Note, the label representing the family silver of jazz, which Clayton is certainly already part of.

As Clayton does not want to be defined by any particular musical tradition, he will perform in Brno, for the second time in his career, with his long-running trio, and that’s the cooperation which is astonishing the most. “I try to ignore any pigeon-holes, the genre differences. I focus on creating honest music and want to work with people whose ideas resonate within my own,” he says.