Tahira Clayton

Vocalist. Song-Writer. Activist. Educator

Gigs, New Music, New Projects, Upcoming Tour, OH MY!

Hello beautiful friends! I am so happy that you took a moment to stop by my website. Lots has been going on and I’m finally taking a moment to recap. Let’s start here:


This week:

3/27 at Three’s Brewing in Gowanus, 9pm

3/30 at Visible Poetry Launch Party, Brooklyn Brewery, 9pm


My debut album is officially available EVERYWHERE! After my album release party, I sold out of physical copies in 2 days (WOW, thank you). There is a bit of a backorder on physical copies at this moment, but the album can be purchased and downloaded here or on iTunes. I also have download cards and download card STICKERS (yes, I DID say STICKERS!) available for purchase. I am over the moon thrilled with how my music is being received. I keep saying this, but all of this is truly a dream come true. The feedback I have been given is truly life affirming. Thank you for your support!


The Brown Bag Initiative is thriving and getting ready to transition into helping the homeless during the warmer months. For more information, please read more here.

I have been so very fortunate to have hit the jackpot with teaching gigs this year. I am still continuing work with the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, but I have also signed on as a teaching artist for the Bloomingdale School of Music, the Third Street Music Settlement, Music and the Arts at Trinity Wall Street. These institutions are so supportive of my personal teaching artist mission of nurturing the whole human thru caring music education and activism, and carry these values in their missions as well. I am thrilled to be able to continue building musical communities of youth, young adult, adult, and senior citizen age groups all across New York City.

On behalf of Third Street Music settlement and in partnership with the New York City Public Library, I am building a new Adult vocal program (community) at the NYCPL Thompkins campus. The idea is to learn music of course, but to also tune our energies, minds, and bodies—getting us in a space to create something beautiful together. We’re learning and growing! First rehearsal is April 12 at 12:30pm. This one is for the 50yrs+ crowd.

My Senior Citizens, “Young at Heart” Chorus in Park Slope, Brooklyn is now in regular session. Next rehearsal is March 27 at 1pm and every Wednesday following at 1pm. Location here


My blog is up and running! I’m serving life realness. I’m talking about relationships. I’m talking about feminism. I’m talking about racism. I’m talking about white fragility. I’m talking about why I write music. What gets me going, what turns me off. Literally ALL OF THE THINGS. Facebook has been a….difficult home for these conversations. I am hoping that moving these discussions to a safer place will help people feel more at ease, including myself. For access to my blog, please request here.


I’m working on a bunch of dates for the latter part of 2019 into 2020. Keep your eyes posted. I may be coming to a city near you! Stay up to date by subscribing to my email list here.

I am in a season in life where there is so much GOOD coming my way. I can only hope that I am putting some good out in the world, too. I am fortunate to live the life that I live, and I hope to be able to share as much of it as possible.

Till next time,


Wait, Till Now---Available For Immediate Download!

Hi friends,

I have been laying quite low, working my hardest to get this album completed and it is DONE! I am so thrilled to share with you the entirety of my first solo project, “Wait, Till Now.”

Each of these songs has a deep piece of my heart. These are stories that are real, open, and honest. A beautiful collision of jazz, soul, and R&B, this record pays homage to my musical roots.

Wait, Till Now is ready to be downloaded and can be done here. Streaming services are not carrying WTN just yet, but I will make an announcement when it becomes available. Until then, enjoy listening the old fashioned way or on CD Baby!

Thank you for being here. Thank you for supporting me.

All my love,

GoFund Me Donations Now Matched Dollar for Dollar

FAMILY! I am overwhelmingly thrilled to announce that the "Wait, Till Now" project is now being MATCHED dollar for dollar. Starting today, for every new or additional donation I receive, every dollar will be matched! For example, if you donate $5 your contribution becomes $10! If you donate $50 then your contribution becomes $100-- or anything in between, less than, or beyond!

I am so incredibly thankful to Charles Valutas, the donor who is making this incentive possible. Charles and I met in Bermuda when he hired a band I'm affiliated with to play his daughter's wedding! We met when played together for his daughter’s wedding ceremony. Charles and his family gave myself and the Broadway Project Band top notch treatment during this stellar weekend with memories to last a lifetime. The entire weekend was remarkable, but I had no idea it would lend itself to such a beautiful new partnership. Charles is a jazz pianist who spent many years playing in the United States. He has recently retired from his position on the Board of Directors for Philadelphia orchestra, but in the true musician’s way, he wants to continue to be a part of music and also support it.

Charles’ dedication to the arts and investment in my artistry is profoundly felt with his generous offer. I hope you’ll all get a chance to meet him at my album release (date TBD).  

After hitting a lag in fundraising, I am reinvigorated by this most generous and gracious incentive. I hope you can feel this excitement with me! 

We hit the studio in AUGUST! Seems far away, but I know it’ll come up quickly! Please consider making a donation to my campaign. I am ready to share with you! Thank you, ALL! And, of course, a huge thank you to Charles!

South Africa, EP Release, and more!

Hello friends! Thank you so very much for checking in with me. The last couple of months have been crazy. Where did the first two months of 2018 go? Couldn't tell ya...

At the end of January, I traveled to South Africa as a jazz competitor in the Unisa International Voice Competition. I was honored to be 1 of 13 vocalists from around the world, and 1 of 2 American Vocalists to compete in this prestigious World federation competition. After successfully completing the three rounds of the competition and becoming a semi-finalist, I was named "Most Promising Semi Finalist" Who did not advance to the final round. I was also honored to be acknowledged as an audience favorite. 

The trip to South Africa was breathtaking. When I had breaks in my rigorous performance and rehearsal schedule, I taught masterclasses at Southdowns College in Pretoria. Performing and interacting with these students was beyond inspiring. During the master classes, we talked about my life as a vocalist singing mostly jazz. We talked about the blues and we did some improvisation. I also taught them the hook to one of my original songs, "First Child," and I am still having a hard time putting into words what it felt like to hear all of those little voices singing my music back to me. I loved getting to sing and then discuss with all of the groups of kids, but especially the older ones. Such thoughtful questions and great discussion about life, music, determination, and perseverance. Truly an honor to be put in front of them all. Never have I experienced such a grand outpouring of love and appreciation from an audience who had no idea who I was before being put in front of them.

Plans are being made for my return to South Africa in early 2019, please stay posted for details! 

Upon returning back to the states at the beginning of February, I hit the ground running with a concert at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City with AMP Trio through our partnership with the DC Jazz Festival. This performance we astounding. A beautiful audience, wonderful support, and a great re-introduction to the American Jazz scene. We premiered music for our newest project coming out March 5th. A review of our performance can be found here. 

AMP Trio and I are set to release our newest project on March 5th. This experience of new music, videos, interviews, and more will only be available to people who sign up on our mailing list. We are so looking forward to interacting with you in this new and personalized way! Sign up for the experience our mailing list here

After taking some time away from album production to prepare for my trip to South Africa, I have a new reworked timeline for the "Wait, Till Now" project. All of the songs are completely FINISHED. Now "all" that is left is recoding and post production. Click here to find the new updated timeline and continue to track my progress towards this latest project! 

Please check out my gigs paged to stay updated on performances! I have a few exciting dates coming up and would love to see you there! First up is April 15th at Minton's with Chris McBride. I'd love to see you there. 

Sending you all lots of love. See you at a show soon! 


Wait, Till Now

Hey there! Thank you for stopping by and checking in with me!

Summer 2017 has proved itself to be one for the books, a season I will surely never forget. 

As my teaching schedule slowed down for the summer I have traveled and continue travel quite a bit as a vocalist for the Band Method's Broadway Project Band. Traveling and performing with this group is an endeavor that challenges me musically and physically; all done with great fun! I look forward to joining this group in Bermuda in October of this year. 

In June,  I traveled to Washington D.C. with frequent collaborators and friends, AMP Trio (Addison Frei, Matt Young, Perrin Grace) to participate in the 2nd Annual D.C. Jazz Prix, affiliated with the D.C. Jazz Festival. We were one of three groups, the other groups being SULA from New York City and the Ernest Turner Trio from North Carolina, who performed for an audience at the University of D.C. as well as a panel of judges. After experiencing some moving performances, AMP Trio and I were honored to have received first prize of the D.C Jazz Prix. We were rewarded $15,000 and a year long professional development partnership with the D.C. Jazz Festival. AMP Trio and I will also return to Washington D.C. in June 2018 to perform on the main stage of the D.C Jazz festival. 

Later, in July, I traveled to Southhampton, Ontario, Canada for a week to adjudicate the vocal jazz division of the Southampton Summer Music Camp. This experience proved to be inspiring and challenging, helping spawn ideas to create a curriculum for vocalists who have been introduced to vocal jazz, but are just now rediscovering it later in life. I had the pleasure of working with 6 Canadian jazz singers, diving into concepts of improv, lyric interpretation and delivery, and leading a band. This group of singers performed with the entirety of the jazz camp, run by renowned educator, Mike Grace at the end of camp concert. 

After teaching in Canada, I returned to the bustling life of New York City, and geared up for a fun photoshoot with photographer, Dana Melaver. Dana is a phenomenal artist, capturing things on film I did not know was possible. The overall theme of this photoshoot was "brave proud skin," showcasing a bunch of different looks that I feel most confident in, and have grown to love. I've felt previously that I couldn't look, 'too glam," because it was "wrong" for my "genre," but didn't ever want to look or feel frumpy. I also realized I am just freaking tired of labels and having to adhere to them. I didn't want to have photos that looked stagnant: I wanted the shots to embody a new found confidence in my self, art, and style. From my wild "mind of its own' natural hair, to the more subdued head wrap I often find myself in while writing and singing, to the bright pops of colors, Dana captured my personality in a fun, funky, fashionable, and honest way. I particularly enjoyed working with Dana because of her editing style, which is very simple: if it can't be changed by make-up or light, it stays. The photos were enhanced by the beautiful make-up artistry of BP Carmouche, and styling by fellow singer/songwriter and fashionista Sarah Kervin. All of the photos on my website (unless noted) are courtesy of Dana Melaver. 

While preparing for the shoot, I was also getting things in place for my show at the Bitter End. This was to be a special show because of a big announcement I'd been holding on to for a little while!

The warmest thank you to everyone who came out to our show  at Bitter End!  I can't tell you how much the support means to me to. This legendary venue has provided a stage for Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, Bob Dylan, Barbara Streisand, Lady Gaga and more. How incredible that I was able to play my own original music in such a storied venue. A special shoutout to the guys in my band: Addison Frei, Aidan Carroll, Andrew Renfroe, and Curtis Nowosad who brought warmth, beauty, innovation, and energy to the music. 

As promised, the BIG !*&%$@!* announcement dropped, and here it is...

My first solo record is set to come out in October 2018! I am so excited to share this project with you all. The creative process has been and continues to be so fun and inspiring. I'm pretty freakin' stoked to record my original tunes (something I haven't done yet!)

While the record itself is indeed a big announcement the bigger announcement is that, I NEED YOUR HELP! Being an independent artist is beautiful, however, the hard realities are that producing and sharing a project on a large scale is an incredibly expensive endeavor. I do not want finances to be a factor contributing to the delay of sharing, so because of that, I ask you to please donate!

If you get the chance, swing by my GoFundMe donation page to learn more about my newest project: "Wait, Till Now.” If so moved, please donate! Donating is not limited to just financial gifts, but through sharing the page  with friends and liking posts, too! Donations can be made here.  

Now that August is just about over, I am back to planning and creating new curriculum for the young music makers of New York City. I continue to hold teaching positions at both the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Bach to Rock, specializing in contemporary choral music as well as private voice/piano lessons and early childhood music. I look forward to all of these interactions and the music that these remarkable experiences will inspire. 

As always, thank you for stopping by to check up on what I've been up to! There are a few irons in the fire that I am excited to share with you soon. Check back often to stay updated on the "Wait, Till Now," project and for more updates on my gigs and teaching appearances! 


Summer 2017

Hi y'all! For those of you who are new to my website, welcome! To those returning, thank you for keeping up with me! 

Just last month, I visited Washington D.C with AMP Trio (Addison Frei, Matt Young, and Perrin Grace) for the DC Jazz festival's 2nd annual DC Jazz Prix, a competition for up and coming jazz artists. Here, we shared the stage with two other finalists featuring two incredible groups, SULA (NYC), and the Ernest Turner Trio (North Carolina). 

AMP Trio and I are sincerely honored to have been awarded the first prize in this competition. Along with a monetary prize, we will embark on a one year long professional relationship with the DC Jazz Festival organization. During our time at the Prix and beyond, the DC Jazz Festival organization treated us all very kindly and we look forward to our continued relationship with them. AMP Trio and I will also return as a group to the festival's main stage in the Summer of 2018.  Read more about our DC Jazz Prix win here. Keep up with guys in AMP Trio here.

After the incredibly humbling experience in DC, I headed back to NYC to play a great show at Rockwood Music Hall stage 3, and I have been gearing up for more performances throughout the summer, including the Bitter End on August 25th at 7pm. Grab tickets here or at the door the night of the show. I hope to see you there! 

Thanks again for stopping by and  I hope to catch you at a show soon! 


Happy Summer!

Happy summer everyone! No matter where you are, I hope clear skies and warm temperatures are exciting your life!

The season has started with a lot of traveling. I recently embarked on a two and a half week trip to Europe, where many countries (and different cuisines) offered beautiful experiences. I had a lovely opportunity to play for gracious guests in Sorento, Italy, greatly inspired by the beauty of such a unique city. 

Before heading to Europe,  a music video that I am featured on for pianist, Addison Frei, was released. Here you can see "Transit," a song and video depicting the wonderful diversity of New York city captured by director David Ashton. Information on how to purchase Frei's album can be found at his website here. 

Now back in the states, I am gearing up for more music making in NYC and elsewhere. On June 25th, I will join fellow jazz vocalist S I R I N T I P in the opening performance of the C.A.O.S Summer Residency at the Producer's Club NYC. This event will be livestreamed at 9pm EST on my facebook page here

In July, I will be traveling to my home state of Texas where I will join in a night of music at the Kitchen Cafe, a thriving listening room for jazz music in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Please continue to check back to my gigs page, as gig dates are still being added for this trip! To round out July, I will return to Cornelia St. Cafe in New York City in a duo concert with Frei. 

In the past few months I have been teaching, playing, and writing more than ever. In an effort to continuously share what I am working on, I have added a new page to my overall website. My writings page will feature poems, short stories, and other ideas that make their way onto pen and paper. Please feel free to visit!

Lastly, I am excited to announce that I am in the beginning stages of recording and releasing my first album with frequent collaborator and musical partner Addison Frei. While there is no release date quite yet, we are looking forward to recording a collection of originals, standards, and other favorite tunes in the Fall. Stay tuned for more news and information about this project! 

As always, your support is much appreciated. I look forward to seeing you at a gig soon!



Spring Is Coming

HI everyone! Thank you for checking in on my website. Hopefully the spring air is as inspiring to you as it is to me!

The last two months have been pretty exciting here in NewYork City. I was recently featured in a music video for pianist/composer Addison Frei. For three days, we trekked around New York city with director, David Ashton and crew. This was a thrilling (and tiring) experience. The video will be released in conjunction with Frei's new album, "Transit," which I am also featured on.  Please visit www.addisonfrei.com for updates and release dates on that project.

On March 7th, I performed my first show as a leader in New York City at Rockwood Music Hall. This venue is fantastic, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I was joined by Addison Frei, Perrin Grace, and Curtis Nowosad. This band will be back together at Silvana in Harlem on  April 22nd at 6pm. 

Later this month, I will be traveling to Kansas with Addison Frei for a series of performance dates. Not long after that in April, I will be performing with fellow vocalist and friend Ben Cassara at Pangea in New York City.

To end the month of April, I am excited to announce my show at the distinguished Cornelia Street Cafe on April 29th, 2016, where I will be singing the tunes of Thelonious Monk. I am very excited to share this project, and hope to see some of you there!

As always, thank you for visiting my website. Stay tuned for more news!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year all, and thank you for stopping by my site! 

2016 began rather quickly with a tour to Michigan and Canada with the group AMP Trio, celebrating the release of their new album, "m(y)our world." In these locations, we performed headlining concerts and led clinics at local schools. Canada was beautiful and incredibly inspiring. A wonderful way to start the year!

Immediately following the Michigan/Canada tour, I completed my move to New York City. During this new and exciting time in my life, I am pleased to announce my new teaching position at Applause New York, a performing arts school in Manhattan. This is an incredibly special teaching opportunity, and I could not be more thrilled to invest time at this place with a supportive staff and talented students. 

In the coming months, I will be playing, writing, and teaching in New York, with trips scheduled to Kansas and Texas. Please see the gigs page for more information! 

Thank you again for stopping by! I hope to see you at a gig soon!


Hi there! Thank you for stopping by my brand new website. Here, I'll keep you posted on new music, gigs, and projects that I am working on! 

In the next few weeks I will be wrapping up my time in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to relocate to New York City at the beginning of January. While this is a huge transition, I am looking forward to meeting new people, and experiencing the new scene that this marvelous city has to offer.

Before planting semi-permanent roots in New York, I will be hitting the road with the New York based acoustic jazz trio, AMP Trio. AMP Trio just recently released their sophomore album, entitled "m(y)our world;" a dynamic and emotional record highlighting the beautiful compositional stylings of Addison Frei (piano), Matt Young (drums), and Perrin Grace (bass). I was thrilled to be a part of this project, and I look forward to joining these guys for concerts in Michigan and Canada. For more information about  "m(y)our world", check out www.amptrio.com.

The new year is right around the corner, and I can't wait to share all that is going on in my musical world. Thanks again for stopping by, and I hope to catch you at a gig soon!