Pianist, vocalist, and composer Dawn Clement is a joyful and formidable force in the landscape of modern creative music. For over two decades, Clement has served as both a torchbearer of the jazz tradition and as a trailblazer in fresh sonic explorations. “In all this world of jazz, there are very few individual voices, no matter what the instrument, but Dawn has come up with a voice that’s unique…” says legendary jazz trombonist Julian Priester.
Clement’s original music is an expansive collection that features her distinctive musical voice in a variety of genres, styles, and settings. Her six albums as a leader showcase her impressive range from master of the jazz piano trio style, to avant garde improviser, to an expressive songwriter and vocalist effortlessly incorporating indie and alternative influences. Downbeat says, “The revelation is Dawn Clement’s piano, always ready with the lyricism or structure the moment needs.” Her most recent release, Islands, was created in collaboration with producer, keyboardist, and guitarist Jon Solo, and features thoughtful collaborations with a range of all-star guests, including trumpeter Shane Endsley, saxophonist Skerik, and drummer Allison Miller.
Clement shines as a collaborator and is highly in demand as a touring and recording artist. She has previously performed with jazz luminaries including Jane Ira Bloom, Ron Miles, Matt Wilson, Rene Marie, and Juliana Priester. Dawn recorded with säje on their GRAMMY-nominated debut album, and has toured with the ensemble in the U.S. and Japan. She is also a member of Esthesis Quartet, a group founded in 2021 with flutist Elsa Nilsson, drummer Tina Raymond, and bassist Emma Dayhuff. The band’s self-titled debut release in 2022 quickly led to featured performances at Winter Jazz Fest and the Jazz Education Network Conference in 2023, and a sophomore release of their album Time Zones in March 2023.
Integral in Clement’s relationship with music is her role as an educator and mentor. She currently serves as Associate Professor and Area Coordinator of the Jazz and American Improvised Music Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver. In addition, Clement is a sought-after guest artist and clinician for jazz festivals, all-state band programs, and jazz camps around the country. She has previously appeared as an artist educator at Port Townsend Jazz Workshop, Reno Jazz Fest, Stanford Jazz Workshop, Jazz Camp West, Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, and the UNC Jazz Festival.
Dawn holds a Bachelor of Music from Cornish College of the Arts and a Masters of Fine Arts in Music Composition from Vermont College of the Arts. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in Denver, Colorado, and maintains strong ties to both the Seattle and Denver music communities. Dawn maintains a rigorous teaching and performing schedule while balancing the ever-fluctuating dance of parenting, composing, and supporting her local art scene.