Whether it’s a solo piano/vocal residency at a top Toronto jazz club, or headlining a concert series with a quartet, Jim Clayton grabs the audience’s attention—and holds it! His shows are steeped in the singer/player tradition, with favourites including Nat “King” Cole, Harry Connick, Jr. and Bob Dorough. And with a background in both radio broadcasting and theatrical comedy, his stories and patter keep the audience laughing and listening.

Jim enjoys playing with a variety of ensembles; for duo playing, he adds the cool sound and style of upright bass. He’s happy to make it a trio with either guitar or drums, and delighted to add both for a quartet!

Jim frequently performs with local players wherever he travels, rather than bringing a band. “I like being surprised musically, so I’m always happy to arrive in a new city and jump onstage with different players. There’s always something new to find, even with the old classics.”

For jazz festivals, concert series, clubs, and even house concerts, Jim’s shows are certain to please your audience.

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Jim’s group captured the audience’s attention with a polished, interactive performance. The music was great, and they were a blast to hear and watch. We will definitely be inviting Jim back!

– Jana Gordon, Artistic Director: Uptown Waterloo Jazz Festival

“Warm, Happy, and Soulful.”


The Short Story

DownBeat Magazine called Jim Clayton’s music “warm, happy, and soulful.” He calls it a blend of bebop and New Orleans, the city he considers a second home. His repertoire is a mix of jazz standards, reimagined pop classics, and his own memorable writing.

Jim’s last two albums, Lenny Jumps In (2016) and Songs My Daughter Knows (2014) landed on the jazz radio charts in both Canada and the USA. He won three national awards with recording act The Clayton/Scott Group, and his music has been heard internationally on radio, in film, and on television (including Dateline NBC, Keeping Up With The Kardashians, and MTV).

Jim spent a decade as a music director with acclaimed theatre company The Second City, entertaining audiences around the globe, from ex-pats in Asia to our troops in Bosnia. He began streaming nightly performances at the start of the pandemic; after over 750 online shows, Jim garnered 30,000 new online followers.

After spending a little time with Jim, hearing him sing, play piano, and speak about his passion for people and playing—it was obvious to me why he’s an award-winning artist.
– Susan Hay, Global News


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