John & Gerald Clayton "Side by Side" with CJO & CYJO

The program Side by Side is the next leg in the Jazz Arts Group 2014-15 Swingin with the CJO season, running March 12th through the 15th and taking place at the Southern Theatre. In a special production that spans generations, Grammy-Award winning bassist and composer John Clayton will be conducting the Columbus Jazz Orchestra alongside the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra. Joining the performance will be Gerald Clayton: pianist, composer, and John Clayton’s son. John is the artistic director for the Centrum Jazz Workshop in Washington, but has also been the musical director for multiple jazz festivals, has been nominated for seven Grammys, and went platinum with his orchestration of “The Star Spangled Banner” that was made famous by Whitney Houston’s performance at the 1990 Super Bowl. His son Gerald has been nominated for four Grammys himself, has released three albums as a bandleader, and often plays with his father and uncle Jeff in the Clayton Brothers Quintet, a group that has two Grammy nominations of its own. Show times are as follows: Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, and a Sunday matinee performance at 3pm. Keep reading for more details from JAG:

Columbus, OH – The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) continues its 2014-15 Swingin’ with the CJO season with “Side by Side” (March 12-15 at the Southern Theatre). From the masters to the disciples, from father to son, generations of jazz are celebrated in this “side by side” tribute to the Great American Songbook!

Grammy Award-winning bassist/composer/arranger John Clayton conducts the CJO side by side with the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra in this tribute to the masters of the Great American Songbook including George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington. Making his return to Columbus is pianist and composer Gerald Clayton (John’s son) who has established himself as a leading figure in the up-and-coming generation of jazz artists fluent in the range of styles that make up today’s jazz lexicon.

Under the direction of Mark Donavan, the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra (CYJO) provides opportunities for talented high school age musicians to further their experience in America’s classical music – jazz. Comprised of premier players in grades 9-12 from central Ohio and beyond, the CYJO has a 30-week season during the school year, and typically performs at the Southern Theatre prior to each of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra’s Sunday matinee concerts. The CYJO plays literature of the highest level with repertoire from the libraries of the great big bands, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Oliver Nelson, Benny Goodman and Dizzy Gillespie.

Audience members can join Byron Stripling for a casual and engaging conversation with the wonderful guest artists of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in a new workshop series at the Jazz Academy. “Offstage at the Jazz Academy” provides participants a behind-the-scenes glimpse from the artist perspective on performing with the CJO – adding new perspective to being an audience member. In addition to the opportunity to learn something new, each guest artist will be asked to share what they are currently listening to on their iPods or CD players, introducing audiences to new and exciting music and artists. “Offstage at the Jazz Academy” is free to CJO subscribers and $10 for general registrants. Pre-registration is requested and available online at

2015 “Offstage at the Jazz Academy” season schedule:

  • Saturday, March 14, 2:00 pm – Gerald Clayton (hosted by John Clayton)
  • Saturday, April 11, 2:00 pm – Dave Powers & Becca Stevens

Swingin’ with the CJO season subscriptions are available through the CAPA Ticket Office at 39 East State Street or by calling 614-469-0939. Single tickets are also on sale for $52 (main floor), $46 (first balcony), and $30 (second balcony) and available through the CAPA Ticket Office and through all Ticketmaster outlets. Student tickets are available for $15 (over 18) and $10 (under 18) with valid ID at the door. For more information call 614-294-5200 or visit

The 2014-15 Swingin’ with the CJO season is made possible by ongoing support from the Greater Columbus Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, The Reinberger Foundation, Ann & Tom Hoaglin, and The Westin Columbus. Concert sponsorship for “Side by Side” is provided by Plante Moran, with media support from The Columbus Dispatch, WOSU Public Media, and WMNI AM 920.

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