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Clay Jenkins

Clay Jenkins’ career as a jazz artist has covered a wide range of musical experiences and responsibilities, bringing him to the forefront of the jazz performing and teaching arenas. Clay’s experience as a performer began at an early age touring with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. Clay moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where he was in demand as both a live performer and studio-recording musician. From Los Angeles, he toured The Buddy Rich Big Band and The Count Basie Orchestra.

Since moving to Rochester, NY, to become Professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Eastman School of Music in 2000, Clay has maintained a busy performing, recording, and teaching schedule. He has remained active throughout the United States and abroad. Clay continues to perform and record with the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, of which he is a charter member. He has also been a member of the Joe La Barbera Quintet for 30 years.

Clay has performed on over one hundred recordings, including numerous projects with The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (with Diana Krall, Ernestine Anderson, Gladys Knight, Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Kurt Elling, Dr. John, and John Pizzarelli) as well as recordings with Gene Bertoncini, Alan Ferber, Dave Slonaker, Josh Nelson, Bob Bowman, Bob Sheppard, John La Barbera, Pat La Barbera, “Trio East,” Larry Koonse, Alan Pasqua, Gary Hobbs, Don Aliquo, Rufus Reid, Rich Perry, Bill Perkins, Jim Widner, Bill Cunliffe, Billy Childs, Steve Houghton, Reggie Thomas, Lennie Niehaus, Rickie Woodard, Karrin Allyson,
and Miki Coltrane. His newest projects have included recordings with Charles Pillow (“The Electric Miles Big Band”), John La Barbera’s Big Band (“Grooveyard”), The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra (“And So It Goes”), and The Joe La Barbera Quintet. (“World Travelers”).

In 2018, Clay initiated “The Snooky Young Endowed Scholarship” at the Eastman School of Music in honor of the great trumpet artist Eugene “Snooky” Young.

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