Ashley Walters, Cello & Low Strings
Cellist Ashley Walters has been described as performing "with the kind of brilliance that beckons a major new performer on the new music scene" (Mark Swed, L.A. Times). She has been praised for her "imposing talents" (Sequenza 21) and "impressive" (Pitchfork) and "beautiful playing" (All About Jazz). Walters maintains a uniquely diverse career, performing music that blurs the boundaries between classical, avant-garde, and jazz, breaking new ground in repertoire with microtonality, extended techniques, alternative tunings, and improvisation.
As a solo artist known for tackling virtuosic, demanding works and collaborating with composers, Walters has been the dedicatee of significant additions to the cello repertoire and has appeared on concert series and venues throughout the United States, including Walt Disney Concert Hall, Spectrum (NYC), Center for New Music (San Francisco), Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, San Diego New Music soundON Festival, Nief-Norf (Knoxville), Tuesdays @ Monk Space (Los Angeles), wild Up’s WORK series (Los Angeles), REDCAT (Los Angeles), the wulf (Los Angeles), and wasteLAnd music (Los Angeles).
Walters' solo debut album, Sweet Anxiety, will be released October 20th, 2017 on Populist Records. The album features works by Berio and Wolfgang von Schweinitz alongside works written for Walters by Nicholas Deyoe, Andrew McIntosh, and Wadada Leo Smith.
A frequent collaborator with legendary trumpeter, improviser, and composer Wadada Leo Smith, Walters joined his Golden Quintet in 2016, recording America's National Parks the same year. The album was named Jazz Album of the Year in DownBeat Magazine’s 65th Annual Critics Poll and one of Nate Chinen’s Best Albums of 2016 in the New York Times. Dan McClenaghan of All About Jazz said about the album, “Ashley Walters' cello paints the rich, beautiful hues that subtly enhance the entire proceeding — the most auspicious addition to a jazz ensemble since Chico Hamilton brought the instrument into his chamber groups in the late 1950s.”
Walters is a member of the Formalist Quartet with Andrew McIntosh, Mark Menzies, and Andrew Tholl. Heralded as “superb,” “ferocious,” and “fabulous” by Mark Swed in the Los Angeles Times, the Formalist Quartet has established itself as one of the most innovative new music ensembles on the West Coast. Founded in 2006, the group has appeared in concert in Iceland, Austria, Italy, Germany, and throughout the United States.