Clif is a Grammy-recognized vocalist who teaches in the San Francisco/Berkeley Area at the California Jazz Conservatory & the Castro Valley School of Music.  Stanislaus/San Joaquin counties area, Gottschalk Music.

For private vocal lessons and coaching, contact Clif at saangpayne@gmail.com.

Registration is open now!
2018 California Jazz Conservatory Summer Session

Soul Town – Classic Rhythm & Blues from the 1960s- early '70s
Motown, Stax, Philadelphia Soul, Muscle Shoals
Tuesdays July 10 to August 14, (6 weeks) 6:30 - 8pm

Tuesdays July 10 - August 14 (6 weeks) 8:15 - 9:45pm

The California Jazz Conservatory is located at 2087 Addison St, Berkeley, CA 94704
 (510) 845-5373

                 SUMMER 2017 AT CJC
My Students of the Burt Bacharach and Harlem Renaissance ClassesClif taught two amazing courses last summer! The first covered the music of legendary composer Burt Bacharach while the second explored the music and cultural significance of the Harlem Renaissance.  

Burt Bacharach Class Overview  
Harlem Renaissance Class Overview 

Clif's strength as a teacher is rooted in his musical diversity, experience, patience, encouragement and passion for sharing what he has learned in performance and study to his students.  
"Sing not just to be heard, but to be heartfelt and believed. Sing to inspire!"  CP

Clif teaches from his years of experience as a pro singer working alongside the world's finest performers. As an Los Angeles resident, he studied voice with Seth Riggs (voice teacher to Michael Jackson and others) vocal coach assistant Chip Hand and Roger Burnley (vocal coach to James Torme). In the San Francisco Bay Area, Clif studied voice with Jane Sharpe. 
He studied music and performance with David Baker and Margaret Strong at Bloomington's Indiana University.   ABRSM Pending

 Clif's Philosophy of Teaching

Student Reviews
Hi Clif, Always a pleasure to hear from you. I hope 2018 has been a fruitful year and brings you joy in months to come.
Studying with Clif has transformed my relationship to music and performance.  He makes challenging pieces feel accessible and gives you tools to make them your own.  His melodic variations on a phrase bring out unexpected colors in familiar tunes.  Clif encourages you to sing from the heart and provides extraordinary support to help you explore your vocal potential.
Thanks, Supraja
Feb. 25, 2018

I had the great good fortune to take a vocal class with Clif Payne at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley in 2017. His professionalism, kindness, humor, experience & knowledge is exceptional. Can't wait to take another class with Clif again !!!
Feb 7, 2018

Clif is an excellent vocal coach.  Having participated in his R&B group class, I can say it was a fun, educational and "bonding" experience with my classmates. Clif has a wonderful teaching manner, incorporating his vast knowledge of music and accommodating the needs of all in class.  Whether novice or advanced, you immediately feel comfortable in his classroom and, from my own perspective as a "typecast" high soprano, I felt like I was challenged and grew during the twelve week session.  I actually discovered I had a chest voice! Who would have thought that I could sing a Stevie Wonder song and conquer harmony in the process?  Clif provides a great musical experience, one I would recommend for all singers!
Feb. 26, 2018

Clif Payne’s class, Songs of Burt Bacharach, was a wonderful experience. Clif is supportive, warm and brings out the best in his students. I grew as a vocalist and performer in his class. The bonus was learning about Burt Bacharach and his amazing songs. I truly appreciate Clif’s ability to bring out the best in students. I look forward to taking another class from him.

EJoyce Pricco, voice teacher
Hi Clif,
Such a pleasure to hear your fantastic voice again. It is constant, never changing and given complete justice through the Stevie Wonder songs you so cleverly and wholeheartedly sang. All of them were my favorites--even the songs we both have sung hundreds of times in our musical lives. I am very excited for you venturing on your own and looking forward to more!  I will let you know if I perform anywhere or have a workshop I'm involved in. Thanks for giving us all the gift that you are!

My best to you ...


From Angella,
“Clif, I wanted to THANK YOU for taking me aside and keeping me inspired to sing as part of the Praise Team. I struggled in the early months/years and a few members nearly had me run away in tears, YET through all that YOU kept me inspired to keep on singing. Learning to build confidence in myself, self-esteem with my vocals; Clif, I am now the Lead Vocalist on most Sundays here at WHC, where I belt out songs with confidence and praise!! Clif, had it NOT been for YOU, I would have kept this talent locked and hidden within, and God would have been disappointed in my NOT using my spiritual gift of singing.”

From Elena Keating, vocalist
“Clif - You are such an amazing talent and spirit! Sunday when I was standing next to you - I just had to keep watching you do what you do - you are so soulful and so free when you sing. I get the feeling you are very close to God when
you're singing. ♥ Thank you for the gift that is YOU. Happy to know you, love singing with you!”

Clairdee French, vocalist
“It is always a pleasure to work with Clif. His extraordinary talent, warm personality, and incredible creativity make him a valuable asset to any show. Add those qualities to his consummate professionalism and high level of integrity, and you've got the best there is. Clif and I have worked together on various projects including recordings and shows — most recently my annual Christmas show at Yoshi's San Francisco — and I look forward to working with him on future endeavors.”

John Xepoleas, Owner, JohnX Drums
“I've worked with Cliff in a number of different musical settings. He always sounds great, is a pleasure to work with and always takes care of business.”
July 23, 2011

Maye Cavallaro, Instructor_Art of Jazz Singing, JazzSchool, Berkeley
“Clif is a wonderful artist and a pleasure to work with. He is extremely creative and helped me immensely on a recording project I was working on. Highly recommended.”

Theresa Griffen Smith, Business Owner, Educator, Performer, Composer/Arranger, Muzikmama
“Clif is an inspiring and refreshing vocal talent! His teaching methods are original and thoroughly professional. He taylors curriculum to match the student's needs and goes the extra mile without fail. Top notch!”