For the fourth year in a row, the Gerald Clayton (piano), John Clayton (bass) and Kevin Kanner (drums) jazz trio entertained at the annual ASMAC Holiday Luncheon December 20, at the Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood.
Six-time-Grammy-nominated John Clayton, President of ASMAC, is a bassist, composer, arranger and conductor and has written and arranged music for many great artists, including Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, Dee Dee Bridgewater, George Benson, Milt Jackson, Dr. John and Quincy Jones. University of Idaho recently named him as Artistic Director for the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival. John performs and conducts throughout the world and we were lucky to catch him ‘home’ for the holidays.
Gerald Clayton, a gifted young pianist, studied with jazz pianists Donald Vega, Shelly Berg, Kenny Barron and Billy Childs. He performs regularly with his jazz combo, has appeared at the Playboy and Monterey Jazz Festivals, Greek Theatre, Steamers and many other venues. A recipient of the L.A. Jazz Society’s Shelly Manne Memorial New Talent
Award, Gerald has been busy performing on both east and west coasts and recently toured Europe. He has worked with artists such as the Clayton Brothers, Russell Malone, Stefon Harris, Ravi Coltrane, and Roy Hargrove and recently recorded with Diana Krall and Roberta Gambarini.
Kevin Kanner studied with Jeff Hamilton, and is the only drummer to receive the Jazz Society’s Shelly Manne Memorial New Talent Award. He has performed with many jazz greats and legends, including: Lee Konitz, Bill Holman (including last years grammy nominated record), The Clayton Brothers Quintet, The Clayton Hamiton Jazz Orchestra, Charles MacPhearson, Johnny Mandel Big Band, Barbara Morrison, Maureen McGovern, Annie Sellick, Gilbert Castellanos, John Pizzarelli, Geoff Keezer, and Gerald Clayton Trio.
Way beyond the fact that John Clayton is Gerald’s dad, the intimate musical communication among these three players was a joy to observe. Their top-drawer inventiveness is infused with a lovely sense of humor and delivered with impeccable musicianship. Among the old favorite holidays tunes played were “You Better Watch Out,” “Ave Maria” (introduced as “Oy, Vey, Maria,” featuring John Clayton on bass), “Silent Night,” “Chestnuts Roasting on a Open Fire,” “Deck the Halls,” and “Carol of the Bells.” Catalina’s “went all out” to provide a fabulous, festive buffet luncheon for this well-attended event.
Donations of clothing and toiletries were accepted at the event for the Social Services Center of the Blessed Sacrament on Selma in Hollywood. The center assists the homeless with food, clothing, job skills and referrals, hot showers among other services.
Founded in 1938, ASMAC is a service, educational and fraternal organization of professional arrangers and composers working in commercial music, primarily for films, television, recordings and theater. The Board is planning a couple of workshops on arranging and orchestration for the spring. Recent ASMAC workshops were presented by experts John Fedchock, Lennie Moore, and Jorge Calandrelli