Flying Over Bridges
Ashley *Maher is a fresh voice in global music. Like Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, and Sting, her music fuses singer-songwriter sensibilities with the rhythms and textures of West Africa and Latin America. Like Sade, she flavors her beautiful melodies with jazz. Like India Arie, her music is uplifting and true. Ashley's fourth album, 'Flying Over Bridges,' is here at last! Produced by brilliant Cameroonian producer/bassist Andre Manga, it features world class musicians from Cameroon, Senegal, Venezuela, Brazil, Uruguay, and the USA: rich, rhythmic, uplifting world/folk/jazz, intricately woven with Ashley's glorious voice and the lyrics of a true poet. This past summer, Ashley was invited to open for two of Africa's finest artists. In June, she opened for Senegal's BAABA MAAL at Los Angeles' Knitting Factory. In August, 7000 people gave her a standing ovation when she opened for Malian superstar SALIF KEITA on the Santa Monica Pier with a full band and West African dancers. Now, the bio bit: born to British parents in Canada, Ashley grew up in Los Angeles, singing everything imaginable. She studied opera in Italy for a year before returning to UC Berkeley and falling in love with African music. Stumbling upon a class by Ghanaian master drummer, C.K. Ladzekpo, Ashley knew in that instant that she had found her calling. She studied with him for two years, graduated, and headed to London in search of African music. London was alive with global music. Ashley performed with an Afro-jazz band for two years before collaborating with England's premier African dance and drumming group, Adzido, for her first demos. The tape came to the attention of the record companies and she signed a contract with Virgin UK. Virgin released two records for Ashley. The first, named 'hi,' was met with critical acclaim and hailed as an extraordinary debut. The second, 'Pomegranate,' featured a superb selection of Paris-based African musicians and again received radiant reviews. Said Nick Coleman of 'Time Out,' 'Her tunes are almost indecently luxurious, the playing exquisite, and the arrangements as full of subtlety as you could wish ... hers is a golden world, in which words are garlands, voices are a glow and drums ... well, you know what they say about the drums.' Since then, Ashley has continued to develop as a solo artist. She recorded and performed in London, Paris, and L.A., sang as a backing vocalist on records by Youssou NDour and The Afro-Celt Soundsystem, and performed as a dancer for many African dance troupes. Ashley recorded her third CD, 'The Blessed Rain' with the same brilliant musicians as Pomegranate. Acoustic and earthy, 'The Blessed Rain' has been rapturously received around the world by her fans. Ashley relocated her family to Los Angeles to care for her mother when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. After her mother's passing, she has been actively building her career, Stateside. Collaborating with LA's best African/Latin musicians, dancers, and drummers, she has been thrilled to find American audiences responding enthusiastically to her international band's shimmering performances. Check out Flying Over Bridges and enjoy....enJOY!