Clayton, whose roots are in gospel, will sing songs from legendary to contemporary favorites such as Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Dianne Reeves and Norah Jones as well as Motown artists. The 24-piece West Side Winds Jazz Orchestra will accompany her.
“Jazz is a very spiritual experience musically because you can escape the frustrations of the world, the drama of the day and get lost in the music,” said Clayton, the daughter of a minister. She started singing at age 5 in the church.
Clayton’s father, also a trumpeter, grew up listening to jazz.
“When I saw my father play his trumpet at home and playing jazz, I would describe it as something heavenly. He would disappear. You could tell that he was no longer with us here on this earthly place when he was playing,” she said.
“For me spirutality, gospel and jazz go together because jazz allows you to go places musically that you wouldn’t normally go. The music will take you somewhere else whether you’re starting from a positive or negative place. It will take you to a better place,” she said.
“Even when you’re happy, listening to jazz music makes you even more happy. It makes you want to dance,” she said.
Clayton’s show is interactive. “I love engaging the audience and having them feel a part of the show and not just a spectator. I see entertainment as a collaborative effort. We want you to have such a great experience that you come back again,” she said.
Clayton encourages people to experience the Mable House Amphitheatre. “Whoever designed Mable House went to Chastain and said ‘I’m going to make it better.’ It’s a fabulous amphitheater. I encourage everyone in Cobb County to experience the Mable House,” she said.
Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre is at 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton. Purchase tickets at www.ticketmaster.com.