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Sure to swing

FRIDAY, FEB. 19, 2010

Story by Isamu Jordan, Correspondent  I  This year’s Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival focuses on family and the future, as well as the history, of jazz music. ¶ For more than 40 years


Young lions take the spotlight in a relatively intimate setting in the University of Idaho’s SUB Ballroom:

•Gerald Clayton Trio featuring Clayton, piano; Justin Brown, drums; and Joe Sanders, bass – Twenty-five-year-old pianist/composer Clayton has been leaving deep impressions on the jazz soundscape by introducing his own abstract ideas to old-school traditions.

The Netherlands-born and California-raised son of jazz bassist John Clayton reaches outside of jazz influences to expand on his classical and jazz upbringing.

During his sensational live solos, Clayton pushes the boundaries of both his instrument and genre by incorporating Asian-inflected melodies, or plucking the strings inside the piano.

Clayton also appears with his father and his uncle in a special Ray Brown tribute performance on Thursday.

•All-Star Quartet with Josh Nelson on piano, Kevin Kanner on drums and Graham Dechter on guitar.

•Young Artists with Alex Hoffman on tenor saxophone, Tim Green on alto saxophone, Ryan Porter on trombone and Brian Chahley on trumpet.


Two families of jazz and three generations of acclaimed musicians come together in the Kibbie Dome for an evening dedicated to the music of the late jazz great, Grammy winner and DownBeat magazine hall of famer, bassist Ray Brown:

•Clayton Brothers Quintet with bassist John Clayton, his brother Jeff on saxophone and son Gerald on piano, plus Obed Calvaire on drums and Terrell Stafford on trumpet – Grammy-winner John Clayton studied double bass under Ray Brown at age 16 in the early 1970s. Three years later he was making regular television appearances on Henry Mancini’s “The Mancini Generation.”

He played principal bass in the Amsterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and composed for the likes of the Count Basie Orchestra, Diana Krall, Quincy Jones and the “Tonight Show” band. Clayton also serves as artistic director for the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

•The Pizzarelli Family with Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar, sons John Pizzarelli on guitar and Martin Pizzarelli on bass, with Jesse Molaskey on vocals, Tony Tedesco on drums and Larry Fuller on piano.


The American experience unfolds in a Kibbie Dome concert that exposes roots of jazz in African-American spirituals, gospel music and the blues:

•Taj Mahal Trio with Taj Mahal on guitar and banjo, Bill Rich on bass and Kester Smith on drums – The internationally renowned blues and world music guru has taken the blues all over the globe, weaving it into forms of Caribbean, African and South Pacific music.

•Cyrus Chestnut, solo on piano.

•Dee Daniels, singing with the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Gospel Choir.


The Kibbie Dome dance floor is open for the festival finale, which is sure to swing hard and long:

•The Lionel Hampton New York Big Band featuring Dee Daniels, vocals; Scott Hamilton, saxophone; James Morrison, multiple horns; Ken Peplowski, clarinet and saxophone; Chuck Redd, vibes; and Terrell Stafford, trumpet – Following Friday’s performance, Daniels returns to head up this big-band ensemble.

Daniels has been known to accompany herself on piano as well as fronting trios, big bands and symphonies in gospel- and blues-infused jazz stylings. She has performed all over the world, including Europe, Japan and 11 countries in Africa.

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