BIO: KELLY ASH

New York City-based vocalist Kelly Ash has emerged as a formidable talent with a rich, soulful voice and authentic delivery. Kelly performs fresh, original arrangements of jazz standards and contemporary covers from songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Sting, The Fleet Foxes, Tom Waits, and Jeff Buckley. Steeped in the jazz tradition, Kelly seamlessly blends the intricate harmonies and melodies of jazz with contemporary singer-songwriter stylings-- her group's creative songs fuse poignant lyrics with rich harmony and playful jazz, folk, and pop/rock elements.

A Seattle transplant, Kelly has lived in NYC for three years and performs actively as leader of her own quintet in New York City and around the U.S. Raised in Iowa, Kelly attended the Phil Mattson School for Music Vocations before moving to Seattle. She graduated with honors in 2008 with a Bachelors degree (Vocal Jazz Performance) from Cornish College of the Arts where she had studied with Randy Halberstadt, Jovino Santos Neto, and Chuck Deardorf. In 2012, Kelly graduated with Masters degree from New York University (jazz performance: voice/piano). During that time, she worked closely with Jean-Michel Pilc, Kenny Werner, Gil Goldstein, and Don Friedman on voice, piano, improvisation and arranging. 

As a private instructor, a member of New York Jazz Academy vocal faculty, NYU adjunct jazz faculty, and Brooklyn Music Factory vocal and band faculty, Kelly teaches jazz/pop vocal and piano lessons, vocal workshops, songwriting lessons, improvisation, and theory/musicianship. Kelly has been honored with various awards and prestigious performance features, including the Inside/Out Jazz Awards at Benaroya Symphony Hall, Jazz in the Valley Festival, clinics and performances at Central Washington University, the Seattle-Kobe Jazz Vocalist Competition at Jazz Alley, performances at the Triple Door, Bake's Place, Tula's, and Jazz Alley (Seattle), as well as the Myrna Loy Performing Arts Center and the historic Ellen Theatre. 

Over the years, Kelly has had the honor of performing and/or studying with Kenny Werner, Gil Goldstein, Jean-Michel Pilc, Peter Eldridge, Dena DeRose, Nancy Marano, Rebecca Parris, Greta Matassa, Randy Halberstadt, Phil Mattson, Dawn Clement, Jovino Santos-Neto, Chuck Deardorf, James Knapp, Jay Clayton, and Don Friedman.

In addition to her jazz pedigree, Kelly's varied background includes work with critically acclaimed Seattle bands Nearly Dan (performing the music of Steely Dan) and cult favorite rock opera Discs of Fury.

                         

"I heard Kelly Ash as a student of mine at Cornish College in Seattle a few years ago. I was very impressed by her tonal quality and by the creative control of her voice. I have no doubts that she will soon establish herself as a strong personality in the Musical Universe. I wish her all the best in her endeavors." 
-Jovino Santos Neto

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