Jay Ashby is emerging as one of the bright new soloist, producers and arrangers in the jazz field. After spending many years in the musical "proving grounds" of New York, Ashby now divides his time between "The City" and Pittsburgh where he has a home with his wife and three boys. He is on adjunct faculty at Duquesne University and directs studio operations at the Manchester Craftsmens' Guild, an internationally acclaimed, multi-faceted arts organization. As an extension of activities at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and after co-producing the Grammy winning CD, "The Count Basie Orchestra with The New York Voices," Jay and his brother Marty established MCG Jazz, a multi-media oriented record label and production company, dedicated to the preservation and betterment of jazz as an art form. Most recently, Ashby produced and arranged for the "hit" of the 2001 season; "A Nancy Wilson Christmas," her first Christmas record in a career of over 60 albums, and the soon to be released "Spirit Of The Horn" from Slide Hampton and The World Of Trombones.
In recent years, he has performed, traveled extensively, and recorded with some of the most renowned artists in the industry. As a result of his long time association with trumpet master Claudio Roditi, Ashby developed a strong affinity towards "Brazilian Jazz" which resulted initially in a ten year stint as soloist with Astrud Gilberto, and later led to arrangements, tours and recordings with various Brazilian artists including; Tania Maria, Kenia, Ivan Lins and even appearances with the founding fathers of Bossa Nova, Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim. In addition, Jay's experience in other areas of jazz is extensive, including performances and recordings with the likes of Paquito D'Rivera, New York Voices, Emily Remler and Stanley Turrentine.
As a member of the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Big Band, under the direction of Jon Faddis, Ashby has the opportunity to play next to and learn from some of the most significant figures in jazz today, including Jimmy Heath, Frank Wes, Randy Brecker and Slide Hampton. As a producer, one of Ashby’s most recent projects, Paquito D’Rivera and the New York Voices "Brazilian Dreams" just won a Latin Grammy for "Best Latin Jazz Album."
For the past four years, in a testament to his versatility, Ashby has taken his first foray into the pop world as trombonist, percussionist and arranger with Paul Simon. In addition to a number of world tours, Ashby's tenure with Simon has included the recording of a feature DVD; "Live from Paris," as well as performances on The Today Show, Saturday Night Live, The David Letterman Show, "Mohamed Ali's 60'th Birthday" on CBS, and The 2001 GRAMMY Awards.