Clark Gayton

Artist / Band / Musician
Reggae / Nu-Jazz / Dub
Ritual, Ltd.

You would be hard-pressed to identify a musician as comfortable with classical music as he is with jazz, indie rock, folk and reggae. You would be equally hard-pressed to identify a musician who can rock with Levon Helm (formerly of The Band) on weekends, fly to Istanbul for a command performance, pack the house weekly in New York at nublu, make recording sessions, wax eloquent about music history and the fundamentals of musicianship, tour with friends in support of their fledgling bands, and still find the wherewithal to record a big band piece from scratch in the remaining spare time (you must listen to the phenomenal re-recording of “Tina,Too”) … unless you happen to know Clark Gayton.

Clark Gayton was born in Seattle, Washington, January 18th, 1963. After graduating high school in 1981, Gayton received a scholarship to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, from which he graduated in 1984. Gayton then moved to Oakland briefly before moving to New York in 1987.

Since living in New York, Clark has worked 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 and Medicine Wheel, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra Nancy Wilson, and Ray Charles. Clark recently toured with Bruce Springsteen as part of the Seeger Sessions band. Clark has recorded or performed with Prince, Rhianna, 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. In addition, he is a strong advocate for musicians’ rights and has been a panelist for discussions about the online and independent music industry.


Clark was interviewed recently by Danielle Bias for Earshot Jazz.

Best of Clark Gayton available through CDBaby

"If you are fond of reggae, ska, gospel, the b flat tuba and trombone, the explorations of Clark Gayton in these musics on these instruments will have you dancing and shouting hallelujah, his in-the-pocket rock-steady a smooth groove. Composer, arranger and keyboardist, Gayton also possesses a seductive blues palette authenticated by roots in the Mississippi riverboat tradition. That Mr. Gayton is a compelling jazz man goes without saying. Having first encountered him at nublu on NY's Lower East Side, I soon found myself looking forward to his then-weekly Tuesday nights. The band could always be counted on. Skankin'! Gayton's trombone is one of the mellowest since Lawrence Brown, supported by laid-back arrangements and solid composition. There is nothing amorphous about it - want to skank? Here it is Tradition seems to be at once Mr. Gayton's tool and his plaything: while the function of brass in the orchestra is to compel, Gayton's work on these instruments is subversive, delivering subtle lines of bebop wrapped carefully in a ska sandwich. Vocalist Dollarman rides these rhythms as easily as a mare. The brass,composition and arrangements are pop jewels. Gayton is indeed a man for all seasons and all persuasions when it comes to his music. Still, it's all about the skank. Listen if you will, to 'Just For You'. Gayton's organically metronomic tuba is a perfect foil for the others in the section. The blues guitar of Bill Sims must rank with the best." --John Farris

Get Your Own! | View Slideshow


As Band Leader and Solo Artist:

Clark Gayton & Neatherealm - "Don't Try To Question"

CD 1995 (Ritual, Ltd.)

Neatherealm- "JahMerican Jazz"

CD (Ritual, Ltd.)

Clark Gayton - "Walk the Water"

CD 1999 (Ritual, Ltd.)

Clark Gayton - "Sankofa!" CD 2003 (Ritual, Ltd.)

As Contributor to Compilation:

Gascd Various Artists - Glad I Found My Religion in Time from "Walk the Water" CD 2002

As Band Member or Studio Artist

Skah Shah "Min Kompa" LP 1989 (trombone, arranger)

Skah Shah "All Generation" 1991 (trombone, arranger)

Steel Pulse "Live in Paris" 1992 (trombone)

Skah Shah "ENSENM ENSENM" 1993 (trombone, arranger)

Queen Latifah "Black Reign" 1993 (trombone, arranger)

Skadanks "Give Thanks" 1994 (trombone)

Ed Jackson "Wake Up Call" 1994 (trombone, bass trombone)

Charles and Eddie "Chocolate Milk" 1995 (trombone, arrangements)

Tommy McCook "Cook with McCook" 1995 (trombone)

Soundtrack to the Movie "Kansas City" 1996 (trombone)

The Mingus Big Band "Que Viva Mingus" 1997 (trombone)

The Slackers "Red Light" 1997 (trombone)

John Fedchock "On the Edge" 1997 (trombone)

Dave Stryker "Blue to the Bone II" 1998 (trombone)

Prince "New Power Soul" 1998 (trombone)

Shawn Colvin Holiday Songs and Lullabies" 1998 (trombone, euphonium)

Dave Hilliard "Playtime" 1999 (trombone)

Bill Sims "Bill Sims" 1999 (trombone, tuba)

Dennis Brown- "Let Me Be the One" (trombone)

CD 2000

Cornell Campbell - "Big Things" (Trombone)

CD 2000

Peter Salett - "Heart of Mine" (Trombone)

CD 2000

Big Mountain "Things To Come" (trombone)

George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band - "Merryteria" (Trombone)

CD 2000

Monday Michiru - "4 Seasons" (Trombone, Tuba)

CD 2001

Sting - "All This Time [UK Bonus Tracks]" (Trombone) 2001

Sting - "All This Time" (Trombone) 2001

Maxwell - "Now" (Trombone) 2001

Barney McAll - "Release the Day" (Trombone) 2001

Monday Michiru - "Selections 1997-2000" (Trombone, Tuba) 2001

Jah Works - "Bassmentality" (Trombone) 2002

Dave Stryker - "Blue to the Bone III" (Trombone) 2002

Tom Jones - "Mr Jones" (Trombone) 2002

Bill Mobley and the Space Time Big Band - "New Light" (Trombone, Soloist) 2002

John Fedchock New York Big Band - "No Nonsense" (Trombone) 2002

Queen Latifah - "She's a Queen: A Collection of Hits" (Trombone, Horn Arrangements) 2002

Tom Browne - "Tom Browne Collection" (Trombone) 2002

Lucky Gaijin a Go-Go - "Happy 55" (Trombone) 2003

Dan Zanes & Friends "House Party" (Tuba) 2003

Julia Darling - "Julia Darling" (Trombone, Trombonium) 2003

Cannabis Cup Band "Live Joint" (Trombone) 2003

Mya - "Moodring" (Trombone) 2003

Sting - "Sacred Love" (Trombone) 2003

Barbershop 2: Back in Business Original Soundtrack (Trombone) 2004

Ben Allison & Medicine Wheel - "Buzz" (Trombone, Bass Trombone) 2004

Mocean Worker "Enter the Mowo!" (Trombone) 2004

David Pilgrim - "Island Soul" (Trombone) 2004

Brazilian Girls - "Lazy Lover [EP]" (Composer, Trombone, Vocals (bckgr)) 2004

Nasio - "Living in the Positive [Bonus Tracks]" (Trombone) 2004

Brazilian Girls - "Brazilian Girls" (Composer, Trombone, Vocals (bckgr)) 2005

Gordon Chambers "Introducing Gordon Chambers" (trombone)

Ted Nash - "Espada de la Noche" (Trombone, Tuba, Horn (Baritone)) 2005

JJ Sansaverino - "Sunshine After Midnight" (Trombone) 2005

Elvis Costello - "North" (trombone) 2005

Various Artists - "Ultra Chilled, Vol. 5"(Trombone, Tuba) 2005

Kerry Linder - "Sail Away With Me" (Trombone) 2005

Steven Bernstein - MTO Vol. 1 (Trombone) 2006

Richard Bona "Tiki" (trombone) 2006 (trombone)

Joss Stone "It's a Man's World, Live" (Trombone) 2006

Rihanna - "A Girl Like Me" (Trombone) 2006

Nasio Fontane "Rise" (trombone" 2007

Duo LIve "The Color Of Money" (trombone) 2007

Bad Brains - "Build A Nation" (Trumpet) 2007

Charles Tolliver- "With Love" (Trombone) 2007

Bruce Springsteen - "Live in Dublin" (Trombone, vocals) 2007

The East Village Opera Company- "Olde School" (trombone)2008

Brazilian Girls- "New York City" (tuba) 2008

Lila Downs- "Shake Away" (trombone, valve trombone, tuba) 2008

Clark Gayton- "The Best Of" (trombone, tuba, euphonium, keyboards, producer, arranger, mixing engineer) 2008

Dispatch "Live Zimbabwe" 2008(trombone)

Steven Bernstein "We Are MTO" 2008 (trombone)

Levon Helm "Electric Dirt" (trombone, tuba) 2009

Swell Season "Strict Joy" (trombone, tuba) 2009

As Arranger or Composer for the years 2000 - 2005:

Glen Washington - "Can't Keep a Good Man Down" (Arranger)

CD 2001

Some folks worth knowing

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