Associate Professor of Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media, Eastman School of Music
- Model: G2-Bb
- Body: .462
- Bell: M21
- Tuning Slide: Square
- Leadpipe: BD1
- None listed
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 playing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He recorded three live albums with the Kenton Band, Artistry in Symphonic Jazz, A Time for Love, and The Lost Concerts, Vols. I & II, and was also involved with the "Stan Kenton Orchestra in Residence Jazz Camps." Clay moved to Los Angeles in 1978, where he was in demand as both a live performer and studio-recording musician. It was at this time that he studied with the renowned trumpet teacher, James Stamp. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands of Harry James, Buddy Rich, and finally, the Count Basie Orchestra.
Since moving to Rochester, NY, to join the Eastman faculty in 2000, Clay has maintained a busy performing, recording, and teaching schedule. He has remained active throughout the United States (especially NYC and LA) and abroad. Clay continues to perform and record with the Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, of which he is a charter member.
Clay's solo recordings include Rings, Give and Gather, Yellow Flowers After, Azure Eyes, and Matters of Time. Additionally, his ensemble with co-leader Kim Richmond has released three recordings: Range, Look at the Time, and Crossweave. Another ensemble, "Trio East," has two releases entitled Stop Start and Best Bets. Other artists Clay has recorded with include Milt Jackson, The Clayton/Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, Diana Krall, Gladys Knight, Billy Harper, Lyle Mays, Peter Erskine, Harold Danko, Rufus Reid, Ray Brown, Moacir Santos, Joe La Barbera, Kurt Elling, Dr. John, Bob Sheppard, Jim Widner, John La Barbera, Pat La Barbera, Eric Reed, Larry Koonse, Alan Pasqua, Gary Hobbs, Rich Perry, Bill Perkins, Bill Cunliffe, Gary Anderson, Billy Childs, Steve Houghton, Reggie Thomas, Lennie Niehaus, Ernestine Anderson, Karrin Allyson, and Miki Coltrane. His most recent recording project (to be release in mid April on "Jazz Cmpass") includes Harold Danko (piano), Larry Koonse (guitars), Tom Warrington (bass), Joe La Barbera (drums), and is entitled Blues State.
Clay attended the University of North Texas (then named North Texas State University) where he earned his bachelor's degree in music theory and studied trumpet with John Haynie. He received his master's degree in jazz studies from the University of Southern California, studying trumpet with Boyde Hood, and currently studies with Uan Rasey. Prior to joining the faculty at Eastman, Clay held teaching positions at The University of Southern California, California State University at Northridge, California Institute of the Arts, Colburn School of Performing Arts, and The Foundation for the Junior Blind.
Latest Blog Post
Yesterday I was working with a young musician the age of 17 and I was reminded of why I do what I do. Getting to hear and help talented musicians of all ages has it’s rewards. Not only was the father ecstatic that his son sounded better than he ever had, the scholarship auditions are […] more ››
In Their Own Words
"My recent change to the Edwards Gen3X Bb trumpet has proven to be the single best move I have made in my entire career! This trumpet simply has the most superior combination of balance, slotting, stability of pitch, and tone color I have ever encountered as a professional trumpeter. I arrived at the exact sound I wanted as a result of being able to choose from very specific component parts (bells, leadpipes, bracings, tuning slides, and even types of screws). This was done with the help of a staff that is the most knowledgeable and friendly in the business, a hallmark of the Edwards Instrument Company that sets them apart from the rest.
"It is such a joy to communicate through the trumpet with the feeling that there is nothing about the instrument itself standing in the way, and to know that the extreme demands of modern trumpet playing can be met with this wonderful instrument."
Professor, University of North Dakota