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Jay Clayton

Jazz Singing (In and Out)
Image by Kobe Subramaniam

Jay Clayton is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer, and educator, whose work boldly spans the terrain between jazz and new music. Jay has gained worldwide attention as both a performer and teacher.  With more than 40 recordings to her credit, Clayton has appeared alongside such formidable artists as Muhal Richard Abrams,  Steve Reich, Kirk Nurock, Julian Priester, Jerry Granelli, Jane Ira Bloom, Gary Bartz, Jack Wilkins, George Cables, Fred Hersch, Gary Thomas, tap dancer Brenda Bufalino as well as fellow vocalists Jeanne Lee, Norma Winstone, Urszula Dudziak and Bobby McFerrin.

Over the course of her career, Jay Clayton has performed and recorded throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Since the 1990s, she has released several recordings including Live at Jazz Alley (ITM 1995), Beautiful Love (Sunnyside 1995), a duo record with renowned pianist Fred Hersch; Circle Dancing (Sunnyside 1997), and Brooklyn 2000 (Sunnyside 2001). She has appeared at such prestigious venues as Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Town Hall, Jazz Alley, The Kitchen, Sweet Rhythm, the Tin Palace, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and at major European jazz festivals including North Sea, Montmartre, and Donaueschingen.

She has taught extensively throughout the world and was on the jazz faculty of Cornish College of the Arts for 20 years, on the jazz faculty at Peabody Institute in Baltimore for 10 years and on the Jazz Faculty at Princeton University for two years . Her book, Sing Your Story: A Practical Guide for Learning and Teaching the Art of Jazz Singing, was published by Advance Music in 2001.


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