Recommended if You Like
Al Jarreau Bobby McFerrin Donny Hathaway

Genres You Will Love
Jazz: Smooth Jazz Moods: Solo Male Artist Urban/R&B: Smooth Soul

By Location
United States - California - SF Sell your music everywhere

Clif Payne

Clif Payne was born in Harlem and resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. His eclectic vocals span the genres of jazz, R&B, gospel, blues, rock and pop. He is "a lush tenor with soaring melismas in his individual passages," according to the Los Angeles Times. Payne has opened for Tony Bennett, Dionne Warwick and Johnny Mathis and has shared the stage with Dianne Reeves, Lionel Richie and Bobby McFerrin.

Welcome To My World is Payne's debut solo album and features Payne singing a duet--"No Payne, No Gain" --with the legendary R&B/Jazz vocalist Freda Payne. She is best known for her hit song "Band Of Gold." Also on the album is original En Vogue singer Maxine Jones. Reggie Calloway from Midnight Star also makes an appearance. Welcome To My World was produced by R&B Songwriter Hall of famer Preston Glass, and Grammy orchestra music director Larry Batiste.

Clif Payne's musical epiphany occurred back in the 1970s upon hearing a 45-rpm record of Donny Hathaway, "Jealous Guy," from the Donny Hathaway Live record. "I was floored! So, I went right out and bought the whole album!" But Bobby McFerrin is credited with "discovering" Payne, who saw McFerrin singing at a club one California evening. Payne went in, talked with Bobby during a break and talked McFerrin into singing with him. At the start of the next set, McFerrin introduced Payne to the audience and then let Payne "do his thang!" The audience response was so great that McFerrin sang with Payne and invited him to be the special guest at McFerrin's next gig. At that gig, he gave Payne his first California gig as a soloist.
Music figures prominently in Payne's family. His father was a reedsman who gigged with jazz legends Lionel Hampton, Fletcher Henderson and participated in the Harlem Renaissance. Payne's mother was a talented vocalist who once backed Nat "King" Cole in a vocal ensemble. As a child, Payne sang in his grandfather's church choir. From there, Payne developed into a crooner steeped in the tradition of music's greatest singers.
Clif Payne has performed with American Idol judge & vocal coach Peggy Blu, Four Play drummer Harvey Mason, jazz vocalist Clairdee, Grammy award-winning producer Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin) jazz fusionists Hiroshima former Chicago vocalist Bill Champlin and R&B band Tower of Power.