Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Gayton, Clark

Gayton, Clark, trombone and tuba player, composer; b. Seattle, WA, 18 January 1963. He's the son of Carver Gayton and Mona Lombard and the great nephew of the legendary New Orleans musician Manuel Manetta.

He believes the first two musicians on my maternal side were Jules and Deuce Manetta. They founded the Pickwick Brass Band. They played cornet and trombone respectively. Deuce, trained classically in France, was said to be the first slide trombone player in New Orleans. Valve trombone was the instrument of choice at the time. Their nephew was Manual Manetta. He began on violin and guitar, but did his first paid work as a pianist for Countess Willie Piazza. He played with Buddy Bolden in 1903. By 1910 had mastered cornet, saxophone and trombone. Played at Tuxedo Hall, also with Eagle band. Then in Chicago for a short spell during 1913, returned to N. O., played locally for 5 years, then to Los Angeles in November 1919 to join Kid Ory. He returned home shortly afterwards and toured as pianist for with Martels' Family Band, then played piano in Ed Allen's Band on riverboats. He settled down in New Orleans where his versatility and musicianship enabled him to work with many bands and orchestras including Papa Celestine's, Arnold Du Pas and Manual Perez's, and solo work at Lulu White's. In later years he became the most renowned teacher in New Orleans. He gave occasional public appearances well into his seventies, making a specialty of playing two brass instruments simultaneously. Manuel had a sister, Olivia who had three daughters and a son, Lucille (Clark's grandmother, piano), Dolly (Adams, played all instruments, mother of Justin, Placide, and Gerry Adams), Gladys (piano), and Lawrence (trombone). All were born in Algiers.

It might be important to know that Manetta's sister Olivia married into the Douroux family, another musical family. One of Olivia's daughters was Lucille Douroux, (Clark's grandmother), who became Lucille Lombard. Clark's mother's maiden name is Mona Lombard, who became Mona Gayton. Manetta is Clark's great uncle.

He studied music with Floyd Standifer, JoAnn Christianson, Curry Morrison, Julian Priester, Joe Brazil and Buddy Catlet while in high school. After graduating high school in 1981, Clark received a scholarship to attend the Berklee School of Music, where he studied with Phil Wilson and Tony Lada, He graduated in 1984. In 1984, Gayton moved to Oakland briefly before moving to New York in 1987.

While in New York, Clark toured the world with some of the finest musicians of the last century, such as Frank Foster, Charles Tolliver, Charlie Persip, Lionel Hampton, Muhal Richard Abrams, McCoy Tyner, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Mingus Big Band and Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, Dollar Brand, the Count Basie Orchestra, Nancy Wilson, and Ray Charles.Clark has also spent a great deal of time with popular music. These artists include Prince, Elvis Costello, Steel Pulse, Al Green, The Dells, Tom Jones, Wyclef Jean, Queen Latifah, Scarface, Quincy Jones, Sting, Snoop Dog, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Matchbox Twenty, Santana, Maxwell, and The Skatalites, to name a few.

Television and film credits include Woody Allen's "Sweet and Lowdown", Spike Lee's "Malcolm X", Robert Altman's "Kansas City", "New York Undercover", "Jay Leno", "Conan O'Brian", and "The View" and "Last Call" with Carson Daly.

His projects as a leader, "Explorations in Dub" (Earl Appleton, Rick Sabo, Noel Alphonso, Jerry Johnson) and "Epicenter"(the legendary Bill Sims, keyboard master Brian Mitchell, and Tony Mason) have been playing to packed rooms for over two years. Both projects have been receiving national praise. "Epicenter" was featured on "the View", while "Explorations in Dub" was featured in "The Fader" last summer.

Don't Try to Question (1995); Walk the Water (1998); Sankofa! (2003)
As a sideperson:
Skah Shah: All Generation (1991); Bob Belden: Turandot (1991), When Doves Cry-The Music of Prince (1992); Steel Pulse: Rastafari Centennial-Live in Paris (1992); Queen Latifah: Black Reign (1993); Ed Jackson: Wake Up Call (1994); Skadanks: Give Thanks (1994); Big Mountain: Resistance (1995); John Fedchock: New York Big Band (1995); Charles and Eddie: Chocolate Milk (1995); Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite (1996); Neatherealm: JahMerican Jazz (1996); Kansas City Original Soundtrack (1996); The Mingus Big Band: Que Viva Mingus! (1997); Terra Mars: Troubadors (1997); The Slackers: Redlight (1997); John Fedchock: On the Edge (1997); KC After Dark (music from the movie "Kansas City") (1997); Johnny Taylor: De Thang (1997); Dr. John: Anotha Zone (1998); Maxwell: Embrya (1998); Prince: New Power Soul (1998); Dave Binney: Free to Dream (1998); Dave Hilliard and the Rock Steady Seven: Playtime (1999); George Gruntz: Merriteria (1999), Live at Berlin Jazzfest (1999); Dave Stryker: Blue to the Bone ll (1999); Give 'em the Boot (1999); Tom Browne: R N' Browne (1999); An American Love Story (1999); Bill Sims (1999); Micheal Marcus: In the Center of it All (1999); Dennis Brown: Believe in Yourself (1999), Let Me Be the One (2000); George Gruntz: Expo Triangle (2000); Barney McAll: Release the Day (2000); Peter Salett: Heart of Mine (2000); Glen Washington: Can't Keep a Good Man Down (2001); Monday Michiru: 4 Seasons (2001); Maxwell: Now (2001); Jesse Harris & the Ferdinandos: Crooked Lines (2001); Cornell Campbell: Big Things (2001); Sting: All This Time (2002); John Fedchock: No Nonsense (2002); Marty Ehrlich: The Long View (2002); Dave Stryker: Blue to the Bone III (2002); Julia Darling: Julia Darling (2002); Sting: Sacred Love (2003); Mya: Mood Ring (2003)

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