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), Continuum Music Festival (Memphis),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).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 founding member of the “superb” and “fabulous” (LA Times) Formalist Quartet, which has premiered a vast repertoire of works and is known for its audacious programming. The quartet was born on the 100th birthday of Dmitri Shostakovich (September 25th, 2006) and has played frequently across the United States and in Europe.
Walters’ debut solo album, Sweet Anxiety, will be released on Populist Records October 20th, 2017. It features Sequenza XIV by Luciano Berio in addition to works by Nicholas Deyoe, Andrew McIntosh, Wolfgang von Schweinitz, and Wadada Leo Smith.