Samantha Clayton – Vocalist
Samantha has traveled and performed as both singer and dancer throughout North America with highlights including various clubs and festivals in the Catskills of Upstate NY; Lincoln Center: Out-of-Doors, NYC; The Kitchen, NYC; Toronto’s FFIDA (Fringe Festival in Dance Arts); and both The Omega Institute, NY; and The Kripalu Center, MA; as an artist-in-residence. Recording credits include reggae legend Winston Grennan, and members of The Platters. Samantha danced professionally with MOVITA dance company (a modern dance ensemble committed to bridging the gap between youths and adults) and has been active in the education system as a performer and workshop leader for youths at risk.
Samantha played regularly at visionary/composer Pauline Oliveros’ ‘Deep Listening Space’ in Kingston, NY with ‘The Sacred Fire Trio’ – an ensemble comprised of vocals, fret-less bass and 12-string baritone guitars. The free-form structure of the group’s dynamic provided an open setting for Samantha to explore all facets of her voice, including spontaneous stream of conscience dialogue, spoken word, and at times pure vocal sound in lieu of lyrics.
Also a performance artist, Samantha is currently working on a movement/dance solo inspired by ‘Blue Monk’. Comprised of clowning elements, and playing off the members of both the audience and the band, Samantha looks forward to debuting this new work with Brilliant Corners in the late Fall of 2009.
Musical favorites and influences are many: Sam is a devout Joni Mitchell fan, she loves the quirky genius of Monk, the creative virtuosity of Betty Carter’s phrasing, the spacing of Miles, the subtle intensity and immediate intimacy of Shirley Horn, the fantastic ensemble work of anything Charles Lloyd does, the whimsical intelligence and versatility of Kate Bush, the ‘music is my life’ attitude and dedication possessed by many of the pioneering jazz musicians, the joy and brilliance of Stevie Wonder, the sensuality of Al Green, and the poignant lyric and turn of phrase from many a gifted songwriter. She continues to be inspired by music old and new and supports the creation and proliferation of all original music.
She would love to have met Charlie Chaplin – an artist boldly ahead of his time, making so much from so little – who stated that what succeeded for him creatively was achieved by first exploring then exhausting all possible options.