Photo of Jay Clayton holding a microphone

Jay Clayton

Jay Clayton is an internationally acclaimed vocalist, composer, and educator, whose work boldly spans the terrain between jazz and new music. Clayton’s pioneering vocal explorations placed her at the forefront of the free jazz movement and loft scene in the 1970s, where she counted among the first singers to incorporate poetry and electronics into her improvisations. She formed a long-term association with renowned minimalist composer Steve Reich.

With more than 40 recordings to her credit, Clayton has appeared alongside such formidable artists as Muhal Richard Abrams, Kirk Nurock, Stanley Cowell, Lee Konitz, and Fred Hersch, as well as fellow vocalists Jeanne Lee, Norma Winstone, Urszula Dudziak, and Bobby McFerrin. Clayton currently records for Sunnyside and her album Brooklyn 2000 met with enthusiastic critical praise. Her many accomplishments include grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Meet the Composer, and Chamber Music America (2004). She has worked with thousands of students in the United States and across the globe.

Artist Support Program 1997