Gerald Clayton: Meet the Band


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Two Shade, the debut release from pianist Gerald Clayton features interactive, dynamic trio playing. This week, we'll meet the band which consists of Joe Sanders on bass, and Justin Brown on drums.

Joseph Sanders, was raised with the sound of the Church, and he showed interest at an early age in the bass. In middle school, since there was only a classical program, Sanders switched from electric to Double Bass. Upon receiving a scholarship for inner-city youth, he was entitled to study for five years with Catherine McGinn, an accomplished bassist in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Curious about other forms, he attended his first Jazz session. It was enough to hook him. He discovered new influences who would play a vital role in his development; Charles Mingus, Paul Chambers, and Ray Brown. In high school, he was a part of the Grammy Band, composed of the top jazz high school students in the country. He caught the attention of the director of the Dave Brubeck Institute, who was looking for young musicians for the program's inauguration. Soon after, Sanders headed west, to Stockton, California. During the two years at Brubeck, he studied exclusively with Christian McBride and many other jazz masters. Sanders also had many performing opportunities while at the institute including a performance with Brubeck at the 2004 IAJE jazz convention.

He moved to New York and emerged himself in the city's vibrant jazz scene, sharing the bandstand with a wide range of musicians. After a year, he auditioned for the Thelonious Monk Institute, under the supervision of Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard. Accepted, he flew back west, this time to Los Angeles, and attended the two-year program. Under the tutelage of John Clayton and Bob Hurst, he performed in Vietnam and India with Shorter and Hancock. While in school, he toured with the Roy Hargrove Quintet and the Heath Brothers Quartet in North America and Europe.

Currently Sanders plays and records with many up and coming musicians in jazz. In his words: “I'm lucky enough to have found my calling. I hope to be able to touch people and make a difference in their life through the magic of music." [courtesy of centrum.org]

California native Justin Brown began playing the drums when he was just two years old. His talent was recognized early on and Justin was the recipient of full scholarships to a number of prestigious music programs, including the UC Berkeley Young Musician's Summer Program and the Stanford Jazz Workshop's Summer Jazz Camp. By the time he graduated from Berkeley High School, Justin had already performed at several jazz festivals around the United States and was also a member of the National 2002 GRAMMY High School Jazz Combo.

In August 2002, Justin was chosen from numerous applicants from around the country to receive a fellowship to participate in the inaugural Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet, an intensive performance-based jazz studies program at the University of the Pacific (UOP) in Stockton, CA. After two years at the Brubeck Institute, Justin moved to New York City to attend the Julliard School on full scholarship. Since then, this skilled young drummer has performed and toured with other rising young jazz stars including Vijay Iyer, Peter Apfelbaum, and Rudresh Mahanthappa. [courtesy of stanfordjazz.org]

Be sure to listen to both these stellar players on Gerald Clayton's first CD, Two Shade. Two Shade was released on ArtistShare on July 1st, for more information, or to participate in this exciting project today, please visit the Gerald Clayton project page.

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