Gerald Clayton speaks about fostering the next generation of jazz
Six-time GRAMMY Award-nominated pianist, composer and USC Thornton alumnus Gerald Clayton (’07) was recently interviewed by Document Journal alongside Emmy Award winner Kris Bowers about the 65th annual Monterey Jazz Festival and all things jazz. Clayton is the director of this year’s Next Generation Jazz Orchestra so he shared what it’s been like working with 20 of the most accomplished high school musicians from across the country.
“It’s been a real joy and honor to lead the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. It is really inspiring to see how the level just keeps rising. The information that cats are dealing with at that phase in their development is very different from what I was dealing with at that age. There is something to be said about this crazy technological boom that we’ve all experienced, where the capacity for information has really grown,” said Clayton. “ First and foremost, I’m just excited and inspired to be around young musicians who are so talented, and who are hungry for this music, and for stories and lessons and experience. That’s really what it’s all about.”