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The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra

About this Artist

John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton and Jeff Clayton founded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. While in their 20’s, John and Jeff Hamilton toured and recorded with Monty Alexander then moved on to separate big band environs. Jeff joined Woody Herman and John signed up for Count Basie. All along, Jeff Clayton had been performing and recording in Los Angeles. In 1986, the three men came together in LA and formed the Jazz Orchestra. 

In 2020, Jeff Clayton passed away after a lengthy illness. The CHJO reminds audiences that his spirit remains in every note that is played.   

The excitement of this powerful 19-piece band is the result of the band’s stellar performances and John’s writing. Their music is composed and arranged by John, and it is not unusual to hear his take on a composition by Jeff Hamilton or something from the Hamilton trio book. 

Along with multiple Grammy© nominations, the orchestra is featured on recordings with Milt Jackson, Diana Krall, John Pizzarelli, Charles Aznavour, Ernie Andrews, Barbara Morrison, Natalie Cole and many more. 

From 1999-2001, they were the in-resident jazz orchestra for the Hollywood Bowl. Their busy schedule still finds them touring the U.S., Europe and Japan, often premiering extended works at jazz festivals and in concert halls. 

People often describe their sound as being influenced by Ellington, Basie and Thad Jones. This would never be denied by the orchestra, but one listen lets you know that their voice is unique, distinct and impactful.