Dion Clay
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Dion Clay

Band Blues Adult Contemporary


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The best kept secret in music


Feb 22, 1999
Performance Review-Comparative

The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Date: Feb 22, 1999

Copyright The Washington Post

"The Blues and the Duke . . . Remembered," a cabaret plus discussion program presented Friday and Saturday in the "In" Series at Mount Vernon College, was inspired by the 100th anniversary of the birth of Duke Ellington, one of the most notable beneficiaries of the blues tradition and the most influential composer born in the District of Columbia.
After glancing briefly at the roots of the blues tradition, the evening focused on Ellington's blues-influenced works of the 1930s, including "Mood Indigo," "Sophisticated Lady," "Caravan" and "It Don't Mean a Thing," and such '40s compositions as "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "Do Nothing Til You Hear from Me," "Satin Doll" and "I Got It Bad" -- a list of titles that is sufficient, without further comment, to indicate the composer's stature. The interpretations were powerful and expertly styled.
Two performers dominated Saturday night's performance: Nap Turner, singer and narrator, whose program "Don't Forget the Blues" is featured on WPFW-FM, and actress-singer Debra Tidwell, whose one- woman shows have honed her skills in a variety of jazz and blues styles. Tidwell's imposing personality and her singing -- gutsy, sentimental, occasionally raucous and superbly polished -- was the musical highlight of the program, well supplemented by Turner's historic commentary, occasional singing and nostalgic narration of his experiences as a fan of the Ellington band in its heyday. Bradley Candie, a singer with an excellent, well-trained light tenor voice and musical theater experience, was singing blues for the first time and showed an affinity for the idiom that could be further developed.
Excellent instrumental support was provided by a trio consisting of pianist and music director Stanley Thurston, drummer Dion Clay and bassist Christopher T. Suggs. Jennifer Nelson's staging kept the production moving smoothly with well-calculated changes of mood and pace. There will be repeat performances Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Joseph McLellan
Wall of Sound Deejays
In spite of the success of Fatboy Slim -- or maybe because of it - - big beat is now last year's trend in the fickle and obsessively forward-thinking British music press. Still, big beat's everything- but-the-kitchen-sink combination of early '80s hip-hop, ska, dub, rock and electronic breakbeats remains appealing because it is party music, pure and simple.
At Nation (formerly the Ballroom) late Friday night, two deejays from pioneering big beat label Wall of Sound -- flame-haired Jacques Lu Cont of Les Rhythmes Digitales and white-bereted Touche of the Wiseguys -- converted the club's front room into an old-school dance party. The dance floor was packed and breakdancers showed off their moves as the two British deejays mixed their hits "What's That Sound?" and "Ooh La La" with songs by the Stone Roses, Daft Punk, Liquid Liquid and Fatboy Slim. The deejays kept the party vibe continuous for a 2 1/2-hour set.
With its two huge stacks of speakers, the new sound system in the club's smaller front room was perfect for the two deejays, as they kept the mixing simple and crisp. Many of the songs contained familiar samples that moved in and out of the mix, and each track was neatly blended into the next with the beat serving as the unifying theme. These big beat deejays' ability to mix old and new into something fresh will keep them in the game for some time, regardless of what's trendy in London this week.
Neal Becton

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

- The Washington Post


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Dion Clay a native of Washington, DC now residing in the Nashville, Tennessee area was originally drawn to the drums at the age of six. He received his first set of drums as a gift from his Mommy at the age of seven.

Dion, a self taught percussionist has been performing professionally since the age of 25. He has performed throughout the United States and Internationally in countries such as Switzerland, Holland, Belgium and France just to name a few.

Dion is currently touring the country as a musician/instructor and laying tracks in the studio with several well known Blues, Christian, & Country Artist.

Since March 2006, Dion has been touring with Contemporary Christian Artist, John Angotti.

In 2004 Dion performed with Carlos Santana in Montreux, Switzerland along with musical legends Bobby Parker, Buddy Guy and the late Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. The live DVD will be available in stores fall.

In November 2006, Dion will enter the recording studio in Cincinnati, Ohio and Memphis TN. to record seperate projects to be released early next year.

An avid horseback rider, Dion, when not on the road, can be found Trail Riding by Horseback or ATV.

Dion’s latest venture is learning to fly the Piper Warrior.

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