“Jay Clayton, Vocal Innovator in Jazz and Beyond, Is Dead at 82”
The New York Times
Jan. 12, 2024
Jay Clayton, an inventive jazz singer and educator also renowned in contemporary classical circles for her recordings of John Cage and her decade of work with Steve Reich and Musicians, died on Dec. 31, 2023.
I’d had a friendly acquaintance with Jay for many years, via the long connection my wife, journalist and academic Lara Pellegrinelli, and I have had with the great jazz singer Sheila Jordan, Jay’s colleague and friend. But I’d never immersed myself as deeply in Jay’s body of work – apart from the Reich recordings, of course – until I started to work on this remembrance.
What a deep, broad, rich body of work—including an arresting debut, All-Out, that some enterprising label should license for reissue.
I’m deeply grateful to Kendra Shank, Andrea Wolper, and Lara for expert guidance; to Jay’s daughter, Dejha Colantuono, for answering endless questions quickly and patiently during a sensitive time; to Jane Ira Bloom, Karen Goldfeder, Fred Hersch, and Steve Reich for taking time to speak with me; and to Sheila Jordan for her blessing.