Emerging Young Jazz Ensemble “AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton” Delivers a Stellar Set @ BMCC Tribeca

The jazz world has gained a new and dynamic sound with the young ensemble AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton. This trending new jazz group delivers powerful and inspiring compositions that take the listener on a journey into the creativity and chemistry of an astoundingly talented vocalist and an amazing trio of musicians.  



  Jazz In Progress: The Next Faces of Jazz is a partnership between BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College) Tribeca Performing Arts Center and the DC Jazz Festival. DC JazzPrix (which is part of DC Jazz Fest) is a global competition created to recognize and support top rising jazz band talent and designed to help launch and promote the careers of emerging jazz ensembles. Last year’s competition was held at the University of the District of Columbia on June 15, 2017. Among the finalist competing were the Ernest Turner Trio, SULA, and DC JazzPrix winners AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton.  

 Urban Heat Advisory was in attendance last June to see the talented competition in which all three bands performed exceptionally well. But it was the final performance from AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton that captured the audience and grand prize at DC JazzPrix. Almost instantly, their sound and deliverance captured the audience. It was during this extraordinary set that we were almost instantly reassured in the future of excellent jazz music. Musically, the ensemble compliments each other exceptionally well exuding a powerful stage presence. The music is well composed and conscious, providing plenty of substance that every listener can relate to. They have a special chemistry when performing together and with the young ensemble beginning to create a buzz in the jazz community, expect AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton to reach new heights!  


AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton receiving the grand prize after winning the 2017 DC JazzPrix Competition @ University of District of Columbia, Washington DC (6/15/17).

    Comprised of vocalist Tahira Clayton, pianist Addison Frei, drummer Matt Young, and bassist Perrin Grace, AMP Trio was formed in 2011 while students at the prestigious University of North Texas Jazz Program. Their first release “Flow” (Armored Records) was followed by performances at the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and the Velvet Note in Atlanta. In 2015, they introduced vocalist Tahira Clayton with their release “m(y)our world” which received international airplay and reached #24 on the JazzWeek Charts. During this time AMP Trio performed nationwide at such venues as: the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival (Rockville, MD), Kerrytown Concert House (Ann Arbor, MI), The Kitchen Cafe (Dallas, TX) and the Cell Theatre, Rockwood Music Hall, and Shapeshifter Lab (New York). Their most recent release “Three” was highlighted by a Japanese tour which included a cultural exchange workshop sponsored by the US Consulate of Sapporo. With winning the 2017 DC JazzPrix, AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton will be performing as part of the line-up for the 2018 DC Jazz Festival alongside jazz greats and receiving the exposure deserved for this young up and coming jazz ensemble. 

Perrin Grace

AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton:  (from left to right – Perrin Grace (Bass), Tahira Clayton (vocals), Addison Frei (Piano), Matt Young (Drums)


On a chilly rainy night in Manhattan, AMP Trio took to the stage unleashing their unique sound to a diverse audience of jazz lovers both young and old. Their opening set began with just the trio, each performing a selection from their own compositions as the crowd watched in excitement and the energy began to build. Soon after, vocalist Tahira Clayton joined the trio onstage perfectly adding her silky smooth vocals to the more recent songs such as “Dallas” and “Stand by You” – two of their more popular selections. The trio of musicians often locked into their own instruments pitch adding both substance and depth into each selection. Tahira Clayton’s vocals pour over the melodies perfectly, lending to a remarkable chemistry that makes their own sound very distinct and enriching. The audience could only watch in amazement as Clayton belted out beautiful improvisational scats that bring to mind the great vocalist such as Sarah Vaughn and Ella Fitzgerald. The group’s ability to cover traditional jazz standards as well as incorporate modern musical techniques is what makes them so uniquely gifted. 


   Addison Frei – a piano genius in his own right, binds the group into each melody. His diversity is ever present while incorporating many different forms of music into one tune. A remarkable talent able to combine classical, jazz, blues, and many other musical genres all into one composition. Bassist Perrin Grace has a unique style of perfectly adding just the right bass sound to each song. The ever present and important eye contact is always there when he dives into his solos, he has definitely mastered the upright bass and at a remarkably young age. Drummer Matt Young redefines the art of drumming on each tune, adding sounds from every part of the drumset along with using crafty instrumentation to deliver sounds that we never knew existed. His rudiments are sharp and precise which make it even more enjoyable to watch him perform. Vocalist Tahira Clayton brings the trio together each time she adds in her beautifully melodic voice to a piece. Her vocal range is exceptional, and she sings with a boldness and passion that project her promising future in music. These musicians are well versed professionals regularly performing solo and various projects in New York City and Texas and occasionally internationally making it extra rewarding to hear them together as that tight knit unit that they are and will always be. 

Amp Trio Live @ BMCC, Tribeca, NYC

  The more you hear of AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton, the more captivated you become to their uplifting sound. Be sure to check them out this summer as they perform in June @ the 2018 DC Jazz Festival with Maceo Parker, Robert Glasper, Leslie Odom, Jr. and many more. 

Check out the AMP Trio Website:    www.amptrio.com

@amptriomusic on Facebook

@AMPTrio on Twitter

Urban Heat Advisory w/ AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton

Urban Heat Advisory w/ AMP Trio featuring Tahira Clayton after their performance at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center 2/10/18


-Jamaal Bailey (Urban Heat Advisory)

-Eric Bailey (Urban Heat Advisory)

-William Bailey (Urban Heat Advisory)

Photo courtesy of: Will Meyerhofer 


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