Toronto jazz musician Jim Clayton grew to become a private Fb following of 250 into a world target audience of greater than 30,000 all through the pandemic


After serenading the arena along with his personal logo of jazz during the last 18 months, Jim Clayton is taking a look ahead to his first are living gig in a excellent lengthy whilst.

Nevertheless it’s what the veteran award-winning jazz artist has been doing all over COVID-19 that’s earned him plaudits from an appreciative global target audience.

Since in a while after the pandemic successfully closed the arena down in March 2020, Clayton’s Danforth space house — extra in particular his eating room — has turn into Jim’s Piano Bar, with Clayton logging greater than 425 performances, turning a private Fb following of 250 into a world target audience of greater than 30,000.

Clayton stated he used to be getting “fidgety” when he and daughter Lenny, 11, made up our minds to entertain pals by the use of Fb, answering questions and taking requests. The circle of relatives cat, Fry, additionally installed an occasional visitor look.

“We did it (are living display) two times and had some a laugh with it. The 3rd evening, we have been staring at a film and I were given a message on Fb pronouncing, ‘Oh, aren’t you guys on this night?’ I believed it’s a laugh, why no longer give other folks what they would like?” Clayton recalled.

“After a month, I used to be going to take an evening off. That day, I were given a message from a nurse in Argentina pronouncing the song helped her get even though her all-night shift all through COVID. I believed, ‘Oh my god, if she will be able to do this, I will be able to play for one hour.’ That’s why I saved going,” he added.

Clayton’s spouse, who works in virtual advertising, helped him put up commercials first in North The united states after which South The united states. And after transferring from his private Fb web page to the Jim Clayton Jazz Fb web page, his target audience has soared.

“Unexpectedly, it used to be 15,000 or 20,000 fans. Within the spring, it broke 30,000 other folks following the web page. That’s to not suggest in the event you’re to music in, there’s 30,000 other folks staring at. Other people drop in, and so they come and move,” Clayton famous.

Clayton has discovered to greet his target audience in each Spanish in addition to Portuguese, due to a selected fan: a resort proprietor in Ilhéus, Brazil, who desires him to fly down for some displays subsequent 12 months. He additionally arrange a digital “tip jar” to give a boost to quite a lot of worthy reasons, together with the Happy Day Book place emergency survival fund, the Canadian Civil Liberties Affiliation, the American Civil Liberties Union and the New Orleans Musicians’ Sanatorium.

He’s additionally reconnected with some outdated pals, together with a highschool classmate and fellow musician who lives in Dubai — “he’s staring at prior to he is going to paintings within the morning. It’s already day after today the place he’s” — as smartly a limiteless array of recent enthusiasts and pals.

Fanatics in flip have let Clayton how a lot he’s preferred by the use of on-line testimonials.

“We’re very social other folks, however COVID was an overly quiet time for us. After we found out Jim used to be doing a web-based live performance each evening, we have been delighted! Jim Clayton Jazz was our night center of attention, one thing we regarded ahead to, and whether or not we have been enjoying playing cards, studying or taking part in nature on our deck, Jim crammed our lives with soothing, refreshing song. We’re so thankful to him for sharing his ability and song (or even his unending tales) with us!” wrote Sue Huson, 65, a retired schoolteacher from London.

“I tuned in each unmarried night all through greater than 100 displays,” wrote Marcio Roberto Bueno Fernandes, 45, from Santo Andre, Brazil.

“The theory of being a part of this neighborhood of song fanatics, with a super participant who would communicate to us, play our asked songs or even attach us to different nice other folks in the similar scenario, in the similar ‘piano bar.’ It used to be all very thrilling and calming on the similar time. It used to be completely important for me. I’d spend the entire day in anticipation for Jim’s piano bar. It helped take my thoughts off darkish puts so much,” he added.

“I in finding the song calming and all through the pandemic it used to be at all times great to listen to a well-recognized voice. Liked each the song and being attentive to the tales. Having a look ahead to doing it are living once more however the Piano Bar has no doubt been a deal with,” wrote Charlene Winger, a mission supervisor from Toronto.

Clayton, who labored for greater than a decade as song director for 2d Town’s nationwide traveling corporate, has made a good residing doing company paintings lately, no less than till the pandemic struck. His trio additionally gained the Canadian Easy Jazz Award two times in 2005 and 2006.

He’s returning to the Jazz Bistro at 251 Victoria St. on Sept. 15 for a two-set efficiency, a spot he ultimate carried out for his 50th birthday a couple of years again. Clayton will reunite with outdated jazz colleagues, Peter Telford on bass and Jeff Halischuk on drums, and is taking a look ahead to the revel in.

“The large factor for me is appearing with different musicians. Enjoying solo may be very other. It’s extra paintings too. On the very least, I wish to play with a bass participant as a result of he holds down the groove. I’ve been training with a metronome to ensure I will be able to nonetheless stay the beat,” Clayton mentioned with fun.

Clayton plans to proceed his Fb performances 5 nights per week for the close to long term.

“I used to be simply looking to make my child snicker as a rule. And this factor simply sprung up. I’m stunned and without a doubt overjoyed. It’s been extremely pleasant. They (enthusiasts) all know my daughter, all of them know my cat,” Clayton mentioned.

“There’s no longer truly any explanation why to forestall even if issues normalize. Those other folks are serving to me out, too. As I steadily log out via pronouncing, on behalf of my circle of relatives, thank you for buying me in their hair for an hour an evening.”

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