Ashley Gonzalez Daneman
Ashley Gonzalez Daneman, "a fine young jazz vocalist" (USA Today), crafts her music with descriptive textures and rich harmonies, taking us to autobiographical landscapes. Her lyrics, and her take on standards, reveal the coexistence of contrasting realities in life and relationships. "I hope people are quietly inspired by my music in some internal way," says Ashley.
Ashley was born near Toledo, Ohio in 1978. A challenging childhood formed her creativity and deep introspection. Escaping through the music of Barbra Streisand and Ella Fitzgerald, Ashley started piano lessons, theatre productions, and classical vocal training to find her own musical voice. Her natural ability to write songs developed through the influence of Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and Tori Amos. Broadway musicals and her parent’s extensive collection of jazz standards also played a role.
After brief study at the College-Conservatory of Music (University of Cincinnati), Ashley felt she did not fit into either the opera or the jazz program and finished with a psychology degree. Largely self-taught at that point, she moved to Washington, DC in 2000 to study jazz and perform with musician friends. Ashley’s concept became heavily impacted by the music of Dianne Reeves and Betty Carter. In 2003, she was noted for her creative arrangements and unique compositional style when selected as a Betty Carter Jazz Ahead resident at The Kennedy Center.
Later that year, many changes came as Ashley became a mom and began suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Her illness held her back in many ways during this time, but Ashley’s work was ultimately enriched and matured during a long healing process. She credits her recovery to her faith in God, or rather, God’s faith in her, which, despite the huge setback, encouraged her to keep going with her talents. Ashley then sought tools and training at the highest level to continue seeking her vision. In 2007, she moved to New York to complete a masters degree under the direction of Peter Eldridge, Kate McGarry, and Theo Bleckmann as a Manhattan School of Music scholarship student.
Ashley and her regular band mates perform in clubs (Zinc Bar, Cornelia Street Caf) and other venues such as churches (St. John the Divine), art galleries (American Folk Art Museum), and special events. The band has worked together since late 2008 to touch audiences with a compelling musical experience. She says, "The greatest thing that could ever happen is that someone would feel understood when hearing my music." After a three-week residency in the Jazz and Creative Workshop at The Banff Centre (Alberta, Canada) in 2010, Ashley relocated to live closer to family and currently resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Manhattan School of Music, Master of Music in Jazz Vocal Performance, 2007 - 2009
University of Cincinnati, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, 1995 - 1999
Voice teachers: Theo Bleckmann (2007 - present), Peter Eldridge (2007 - 2009),
Jeanie LoVetri (2005 - 2007), Kate McGarry (2007 - 2009), J.D. Walter (2006)
Composition teachers: Dr. Edward Green (2008), Dave Liebman (2007-2009), Michael Patterson (2008 - 2009)
Jazz masterclasses: Nenna Freelon (2005), Giacomo Gates (2005)
Workshop: 5-days at the Institute for Embodied VoiceWork with Lisa Sokolov, Director (2005)
Classical voice: Patricia Berlin (1995), Carolyn Seeman (1992 - 1995)
Piano training: 4 years classical, Jazz with Calvin Jones, University of District of Columbia (2001 - 2002)
Dance training: Ballet & Modern, University of Cincinnati (1998 - 1999), The Toledo Ballet (1990 - 1994)
ABBREVIATED PERFORMANCE HISTORY
May 2010 The Banff Centre, Banff, AB, Canada
February 2010 Cornelia Street Caf, New York, NY
January 2010 Zinc Bar Jazz Club, New York, NY
December 2009 The Union, Kalamazoo, MI
June 2009 The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine Spring Recital Series, New York, NY
February 2009 Caffe Vivaldi, New York, NY
April 2008 Sweet Rhythm Jazz Club, New York, NY
October 2006 Levine School of Music Musicalitea, Washington, DC
January 2006 New Haven Lounge (Featured by Benito Gonzalez Trio), Baltimore, MD
August 2005 St. Luke Church’s “Jazz in the Garden” Summer Concert Series, Washington, DC
March 2005 The Arts Barn Theatre, Gaithersburg, MD
April 2004 Center Stage at the Old Post Office Pavillion, Washington, DC
July 2004 LIVE! On Woodrow Wilson Plaza Summer Concert Series, Washington, DC
July 2003 Arts on Foot Festival, Washington, DC
June 2003 First Annual Georgetown Concerts in the Park Series, Washington, DC
February 2002 49 West (Featured by Rob Levit Trio), Annapolis, MD
March 2000 The Cabaret, Cincinnati, OH
2010 Jazz Series for Kids (Ages 2 - 5), presenting to homeschooled groups, New York, NY
2008 - present Private vocal coach in contemporary/commercial music (Jazz, Pop, Musical Theatre), New York, NY
2009 Ensemble vocal coach for La Academia Cristiana de la Musica Adult Worship Choir, Patterson, NJ
2007 - 2008 Children’s Choir Director, Tompkins Square Middle After School Program, New York, NY
2004 - 2005 Piano faculty, Traveling Teachers, Greater Metropolitan Area of Washington, DC
2003 - 2005 Voice/Piano faculty, Shalom After School for the Arts
2000 Voice faculty/Musical theatre Assistant Director, Friends Music Camp, Barnesville, OH
2009 Guest soloist, North Yonkers Community Church & Ascension Church, New York, NY
2008 - 2009 Singer/Pianist, Astoria Community Church, New York, NY
2003 Soprano section leader, All Souls Unitarian Church Choir, Washington, DC
SHOWCHOIR & CHORAL
1994 Soprano/Soloist, Toledo Repertoire Theater's Young Rep RoadShow Choir, Ohio
1993 - 1995 Soprano/Soloist, Perrysburg High School “Jazz Singers” Show Choir, Ohio
More Holy Ground, “Demo” Rupert Wates, 2010
Skies of South Dakota, Prayer, “Joe’s Caf” Rupert Wates, 2010
Inside, “Untitled Release” John Littig, 2010
Wah, “Xenia” Elijah Shiffer, 2008
Watch Every Word, Noche De Palmas, Falling In Love, More of Your Time, We’re Walking Home, I Miss You, “Demo” Paige Powell, 2005
Before You Saw The End, Peace Is On Its Way, Two Young Souls, “Demo” Gonzalez, 2002
Beautiful Memories, Butterflies, Dance!, November Moonlight, “Demo” Diana Jeffery, 2001
PROFESSIONAL HONORS AND AWARDS
2010 Selected resident artist for The Banff Centre Jazz & Creative Music Workshop, Alberta, Canada
2007 - 2009 Manhattan School of Music Scholarship Recipient
2003 Selected artist for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency for Young Jazz Composers, Washington, DC
2002 $1,000 arts grant recipient, District of Columbia Commission on Arts and Humanities
Available for Your
Birthday Party, Christmas Party, Church Service, Club/Nightclub, Concert Venue, Festival, Private Party, Wedding Ceremony, Wedding Cocktail Hour
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