Monty Alexander, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton
Thu, Aug 8-Sun, Aug 11Doors open at 5:30 PM each night.
First sets begin at 7:30 PM, and second sets (when applicable) begin at 9:30 PM (doors: 9:15 PM).
The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley welcomes Grammy-nominated jazz pianist Monty Alexander, celebrating the release of Uplift 2. Joining Alexander is John Clayton (bass) and Jeff Hamilton (drums). Set times Thursday & Sunday at 7:30p, Friday and Saturday at 7:30p & 9:30pm. Doors open at 5:30pm.
In a career spanning five decades, pianist Monty Alexander has built a reputation exploring the worlds of American jazz, popular song, and the music of his native Jamaica, finding in each a sincere spirit of musical expression. In the process, he has performed and recorded with artists from every corner of the musical universe: Frank Sinatra, Ray Brown, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Clark Terry, Quincy Jones, and Ernest Ranglin, among many others.
Alexander’s latest for Jazz Legacy Productions, Uplift 2—a sequel of sorts to 2011’s Uplift—virtually epitomizes his philosophy and approach to jazz gloriously. Reunited with bassist John Clayton and drummer Jeff Hamilton—with whom he made some of his very best trio recordings in the mid-1970s—Uplift 2 bursts out of the gate with two tunes that, in lesser hands, might come off as corny or clichéd—“Battle Hymn (of the Republic)” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” But to Alexander, this “familiarity” presents an opportunity he relishes. “I like to take old wine and put it into new bottles,” he says. “It’s not so much the song, but what you do with it.” Alexander’s trio takes these warhorses and renders them with impishly affectionate humor, invention, and gregarious swing. Clayton and Hamilton are the thunder and wind to Alexander’s summertime cloudburst. When asked about the chemistry of this configuration of musicians from long ago—every so often we’d get together”—Alexander affirmed, “We just clicked from the get-go.”
Grammy-winning bassist/composer/conductor, John Clayton's talents are consistently requested by the movers and shakers in the jazz industry, such as Quincy Jones and Tommy Lipuma. As a testament to his immense talent and broad ranging appeal, John Clayton served as the Artistic Director of Jazz for the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1999 through 2001. In addition, he is Artistic Director for the Centrum Jazz Workshop in Port Townsend, Washington and was also appointed Artistic Director for the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival in 2006. John has written and arranged music for Diana Krall, DeeDee Bridgewater (including her Grammy award winning CD "Dear Ella"), Natalie Cole, Milt Jackson, Nancy Wilson, Quincy Jones, George Benson, Dr. John, Gladys Knight, Regina Carter, Queen Latifah, and many others. On the other hand, John was awarded a platinum record for his stirring arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner" performed by Whitney Houston during the Super Bowl in 1990.
Originality is what versatile drummer Jeff Hamilton brings to the groups he performs with and is one of the reasons why he is constantly in demand, whether he is recording or performing with his trio, Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, and countless others.
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