Holiday Party Luncheon – December 17, 2007

By Jeannie Pool

Once again ASMAC celebrated the holiday season with cocktails, a silent auction, dinner, and a  stellar performance by the ASMAC Holiday Trio on December 17, at Catalina’s in Hollywood. The trio included ASMAC President John Clayton on bass; drummer Kevin Kanner, drums and pianist Gerald Clayton.

Six-time-Grammy-nominated John Clayton, President of ASMAC, bassist, composer, arranger and conductor, has written and arranged music for many great artists, including Diana Krall, Natalie Cole, DeeDee 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 around the world, and just returned from tours in Europe and South America. 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.  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 the recent Grammy-nominated record), The Clayton Brothers Quintet, The Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Charles MacPhearson, Johnny Mandel Big Band, Barbara Morrison, Maureen McGovern, Annie Sellick, Gilbert Castellanos, John Pizzarelli, Geoff Keezer, and Gerald Clayton Trio.Their one-hour plus set included their original arrangements of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland,” “You Better Watch Out,” “Deck the Halls,” “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” “Ave Maria” introduced by John Clayton as  “Oy, Vey Maria.” dedicated to the Jewish friends in the audience.