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AN EXTRAORDINARY PAYNE
Harlem-born Clif Payne is a refreshing new voice emerging onto the contemporary jazz scene. He's been called “the Payne that feels so good” by peers and audiences worldwide. His elegant vocals dazzled LA Times columnist Don Heckman to write,“Clif Payne is a lush tenor bursting with soaring gospel melismas.”
THE HOUSE OF PAYNE
Clif is the son of James "Buddy" Payne, reedsman with the Lionel Hampton, Lucky Millinder and Fletcher Henderson bands of the Harlem Renaissance, 1920s - 1950s. Clif's mother, Aline, educated by Tuskegee legendries James Weldon Johnson and William Dawson, was an ensemble vocalist who once backed Nat “King” Cole.
WEST COAST PAYNE
Clif's musical ascent began when Bobby McFerrin featured Clif as a special guest vocalist. Since then, Clif has performed at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall, Yoshi's, West Hollywood's Troubadour and LA's Jazz Bakery. He's opened for Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett and has performed with Tower of Power and Clairdee. His recordings include commercials & cds by Dave Koz and jazz fushionists Hiroshima. As a guitarist, Clif has backed Rich Little, Wolfman Jack, Danny Gans and former Platters lead vocalist Sonny Turner.
THE VOICE OF PAYNE
First and foremost, Clif Payne is a vocalist. And, as a vocalist, Clif effortlessly paints a colorful soundscape where the hues of jazz, gospel and R&B converge. His mastery of lyrics, interpretation, improvisation, phrasing and tone highlight the technical aspects of his voice without sacrificing its emotional depth--all while taking us on melodic excursions of artistic expression.
. . . is what folks shouted out back-in-the-day when the teenaged Clif was the featured vocalist in his church choir.
“BRING ON THE PAYNE!”
. . . is how he's introduced these days.
Clif's highly anticipated debut CD entitled ANecessary Payne is currently in pre-production.