Ashley Maher is a true new global diva. Following in the footsteps of pioneers like Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon, and sounding like Joni Mitchell meets Youssou NDour, Ashley has recorded four world class albums. Stellar songwriting, her extraordinary voice, and heavenly world grooves put Ashley in a class all her own: sublime world/folk/jazz.
Ashley has just completed her fourth CD, called Flying Over Bridges. Produced by Cameroonian Andre Manga, it features LA's finest world/jazz musicians from Cameroon, Senegal, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, and the USA.
Born to British parents in Canada, and moving to Los Angeles when she was five, Ashley's gift as a singer was recognized early on. She grew up singing jazz, classical, choral, and medieval music and even studied opera in Italy for a year, before falling irrevocably in love with African music. Stumbling upon a class by Ghanaian master drummer, C.K. Ladzekpo, at UC Berkeley, Ashley knew she had found her calling. She studied with him for two years, before graduating and moving to London in search of African musicians.
London was alive with global music. Ashley performed with her band for two years before collaborating with premier traditional dance and drumming group, Adzido, to record her first set of demos. The tape soon came to the attention of the record companies and she signed a contract with Virgin U.K.
Virgin released two records for Ashley. The first, named "hi," was met with critical acclaim and hailed as a promising debut. The second, "Pomegranate," featured a superb selection of Paris-based African musicians and again was met with positive press.
"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 has regularly recorded and performed in London, Paris, and L.A., sang as a backing vocalist on records by Youssou N'Dour 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" was 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 had a second child, while actively building her career, in the USA. Collaborating with LA's best West African and Latin musicians, dancers, and drummers, she has been thrilled to find American audiences responding enthusiastically to the music and her international band's shimmering performances.
*Maher rhymes with "star"