Trio East is Eastman’s very own world class, recorded and regularly performing Jazz combo. The Trio is made up of bassist Jeff Campbell, Clay Jenkins on trumpet, and Rich Thompson on the drums.
Jeff Campbell has carved out an impressive career as bass player of extraordinary artistry, fluent in both the jazz and classical idioms. As a jazz bassist, he maintains an active schedule performing with Marian McPartland, Gene Bertoncini, Rich Perry, Trio East, Harold Jones, and the Eastman Jazz Quartet featuring Harold Danko, and has appeared on McPartland’s Piano Jazz program on National Public Radio. In high demand across the globe, Jeff has performed at such prestigious European musical events as the Nice, Montreux, North Sea, Riga, and Parnu Jazz Festivals and has also appeared in the former Soviet Union and the Baltic Republics.
Clay Jenkins' experience as a performer began at an early age playing with the Stan Kenton Orchestra. He recorded three live albums with the Kenton Band, Artistry in Symphonic Jazz, A Time for Love, and The Lost Concerts, Vols. I & II, and was also involved with the “Stan Kenton Orchestra in Residence Jazz Camps.” Clay moved to Los Angeles in1978, where he was in demand as both a live performer and studio-recording musician. It was at this time that he studied with the renowned trumpet teacher, James Stamp. From Los Angeles, he toured with the big bands of Harry James, Buddy Rich, and finally, the Count Basie Orchestra.
Since moving to Rochester, NY to join the Eastman faculty in 2000, Clay has maintained a busy performing, recording, and teaching schedule. He has remained active throughout the United States (especially NYC and LA) and abroad.
Rich Thompson is an Associate Professor of jazz studies and contemporary media (pt) at the Eastman School of Music. In addition to his duties as artist/teacher of drum set, he also directs the Eastman Jazz Lab Band, teaches fundamentals of jazz drum set and assists in coaching the rhythm sections of small groups and big bands.Rich “freelances” out of Rochester and New York City. He performed at the IAJE 2000 convention in New Orleans with the Eastman Jazz Trio, IAJE 2002 convention in Long Beach California with Bill Dobbins and Jeff Campbell, a performance at the 2004 IAJE in NYC with the Eastman Jazz Quartet featuring guest artist Rich Perry, and another performance at the 2006 IAJE in NYC with Bill Dobbins and Jeff Campbell.