Clayton Rego traversed the country while growing up in a military family, went to school at McGill University in Canada and has now come to Nebraska to pursue a full-time music career.
Rego first entered the world of music when he was in fourth grade, attending school in Colorado Springs. There he learned to play the euphonium, a brass instrument with deep tones. After moving to Rhode Island a year later, Rego switched his instrument of choice to the trumpet which would progress into the music he makes today.
“I needed a cheaper instrument so I started playing trumpet,” Rego said. “I’ve been playing ever since then.”
Rego’s journey brought him to Nebraska for the first time after graduating from McGill University. His father, who was stationed at Offutt, suggested Rego come live in Nebraska while trying to kickstart a music career.
Some may have already heard or seen Rego’s performances at the Shark Club. The venue served as a platform for some early live performance before its eventual closing. Additionally, Rego has performed at Club Vibe and the Down Under Lounge.
One listening to Rego’s recorded tracks might be deceived by the fact that he’s the only one playing. He builds his music piece by piece. Typically starting with a drum piece first, Rego records himself playing separate instruments before putting them together for a final product.
The result is a compilation of songs that Rego describes as “indie rock with jazz influences.” Incorporating heavy use of his trumpet playing, Rego’s debut album gives off smooth vibes with exciting instrumentals. The music is a perfect selection for those looking for jazz with a modern twist.
Despite piecing together his first album on his own, Rego is still looking for musical partners to perform live with.
“I try to root everything in some sort of reality,” Rego said. “Even the less specific songs have sort of a direct influence in my life.”
A primary goal of Rego’s music writing style is to create universally enjoyable music that still stems from real events. His inspiration for such a concept comes from Paul McCartney, who Rego recognizes for creating music that transcends its literal meaning.
“A song doesn’t have to be what you think a song has to be,” Rego said. “The song Penny Lane is a prime example of that. He’s making this beautiful music out of basically walking down the street and looking at things.”
Those interested in seeing Rego perform live can catch his album release performance at Café 110 at 1299 Farnam St. The 9 p.m. show on Saturday, July 15 will have free admittance and is for ages 21 and up.
Rego maintains an active presence online with social media accounts and his personal website, claytonrego.com, where visitors can find his music and information about future performances.