Clark Gayton (b. January 18, 1963) is an American multi-instrumentalist, musician, composer, and musicians' rights advocate. He toured with Bruce Springsteen with the Seeger Sessions Band in 2006. He also played trombone with the E Street Horns during the Wrecking Ball and High Hopes Tours and appeared on the Wrecking Ball and High Hopes albums.
Born as Carver Clark Gayton Jr. to Carver Clark Gayton and Mona Marie Lombard, Clark Gayton is a professional musician (trombone, euphonium, tuba, sousaphone, cornet, keyboards, piano), composer and producer.
Clark studied music with Floyd Standifer, JoAnn Christen, Curry Morrison, Julian Priester, Joe Brazil and Buddy Catlet while attending Garfield High School in Seattle. After graduating from high school in 1981, Clark received a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music, where he studied with Phil Wilson, Tom Plsek and Tony Lada. He graduated in 1984 and moved to Oakland before moving to New York in 1987 where he lives to this day.
Since living in New York, Clark has worked and recorded with some of the finest jazz musicians in the world, such as Charles Tolliver, Lionel Hampton, McCoy Tyner, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Mingus Big Band, Ted Nash and Odeon, Ben Allison & Medicine Wheel, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, Clark Terry, Nancy Wilson, and Ray Charles. Clark has recorded or performed with Prince, Rihanna, Brazilian Girls, Steel Pulse, Wyclef Jean, Queen Latifah, Quincy Jones, Sting, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Santana, Maxwell, The Skatalites, and Bad Brains, to name a few. He performs regularly with his band, Explorations in Dub, at Nublu in New York City. He was also a member of Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble Band. He has appeared in the movies Malcolm X, Sweet and Lowdown, and Kansas City. He has performed frequently with Conan O'Brien's house band as a substitute for Richie "LaBamba" Rosenberg. In addition, he is a strong advocate for musicians’ rights and has been a panelist for discussions about the online and independent music industry.
Family influence and early music history Edit
He is the son of Carver Clark Gayton and Mona Marie Lombard and is the great-grand nephew of the legendary New Orleans musician, Manuel "Fess" Manetta.
The first two professionally trained musicians on his maternal side were Jules and Deuce Manetta who founded the Pickwick Brass Band who 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 Manuel 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 he had mastered cornet, saxophone and trombone. Manuel played at Tuxedo Hall with the Eagle band. He went to Chicago in 1913, then returned to New Orleans, played locally for 5 years. He went 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.
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