Ashley Summers

Bassist, composer and educator Ashley Summers is a Canadian-born, Chicago-based artist whose talents have brought her to stages all over the world. Known for a lyrical style that is punctuated by a sinewy impetuousness, Summers's artistic perspective has a striking sincerity that is both invigorating and nostalgic.
Summers has brought her "glorious tone that pours forth passion and groove" (, 2010) to the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Umbria Jazz Festival, and Jazz a Vienne. She has also toured venues throughout the US, from concert halls like the Kennedy Center for the Arts to Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn and the Lilypad in Boston. Recent performances have included special guests Aaron Goldberg, Corey Christiansen, Leo Blanco, Seamus Blake and Kenny Werner.
For more than a decade, Summers has been leading her own large and small ensembles in an effort to showcase her original music and the extraordinary talent of her peers in Canada, the US and Europe. Her compositional style emphasizes effusive melodies and dynamic harmonies derived from a vast range of musical influences. The result is a compelling narrative that chronicles stories of courage, despair, resilience, mysticism and more. Recently, the title track on Summers's 2017 ears&eyes Records release, 'True North', was recognized by the International Society for Jazz Arrangers and Composers as the 2017 "Outstanding New Music Composition" in the small ensemble category. The piece was performed by members of the Chuck Owen Big Band at ISJCA's annual symposium in Tampa, FL, in May 2017.
In addition to her busy performance schedule, Summers is an in-demand educator. For several years she served as director of IAJE Canada's "Jazzmobile" project, which placed professional jazz musicians in Canadian schools to motivate, educate and inspire young musicians. She also frequently serves as an adjudicator, guest artist and clinician at festivals and universities throughout Canada and the US, including the annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow. She spends considerable time in Summer months as a faculty member for jazz intensives throughout North America and frequently works with the Archipelago Project, a non-profit music education ensemble based in Traverse City, MI. She has also held interim faculty appointments at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Ashland University and Kent State University and recently completed a full-time visiting Jazz Studies faculty position at Morehead State University in Kentucky.
Although she is a proud Canadian citizen, Summers is thrilled to be in Chicago, IL, where she is perpetually developing her own projects and supporting a variety of exciting local and international artists in jazz and other genres, both live and in the studio. She recently debuted a new quintet, ‘Ashley Summers’s Raîson d'Être', at The Whistler in Chicago, which features longtime collaborators Daniel Bruce, Daniel Murphy and Chris Baker as well as the outstanding young tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi. Her long-awaited debut album as a leader, featuring saxophonist Seamus Blake, was recently released on March 24th, 2017, on the ears&eyes Records label.

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