Praised for her rhythmic precision and dynamic range, harpist Dr. Ashley Jackson enjoys a multifaceted career as a highly sought-after musician and collaborator in New York and beyond. As a highly versatile artist, she has developed a unique "groove beyond gentility" on her instrument (I Care If You Listen).
As an orchestral harpist, she performs with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolis Ensemble, the Qatar Philharmonic, and is the principal harpist of NOVUS NY, the contemporary music orchestra of Trinity Wall Street led by Grammy-nominated conductor Julian Wachner. She appears regularly with the Harlem Chamber Players, and has recently joined Ensemble Échappé, a flexible group of soloists dedicated to performing works from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Dr. Jackson has appeared on stages in New York and around the world including Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, National Sawdust, Park Avenue Armory, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sala São Paulo, Royal Opera House in Muscat, Oman, and the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, China.
As a passionate advocate for developing new works within the classical music genre and across artistic disciplines, Dr. Jackson has premiered works by Timo Andres, Brad Balliett, Doug Balliett, Danielle Eva Schwob, and Nina Young. In the Fall of 2018, Roya Sachs, Danielle Eva Schwob, and Dr. Jackson teamed up to create Infoxication, an interdisciplinary performance inspired by the Information Age. The premiere performance took place at Spring Place and featured such artists as PUBLIQuartet, Dusan Tyneck, and Heather Hansen. She also premiered a mixed-medium immersive performance curated by Sachs titled What Did Freud Dream About, performed at New York Fashion Week, and was featured in the fashion and style blog, Swagger New York.
Throughout her academic and professional careers, Dr. Jackson has demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion within higher education and the performing arts, firmly believing that a deeper understanding of cultural and ethnic diversity is critical to intellectual and artistic development. As a recipient of the Theodore Presser Award, she pursued her doctoral research on black female composer Margaret Bonds and her collaboration with Langston Hughes, and presented her findings in lectures at the Studio Museum of Harlem, WMP Concert Hall, and the University of North Carolina. Her speaking engagements have included “Affinities: Margaret Bonds and Langston Hughes” (Studio Museum of Harlem) and “Representation as Resistance: How an Activist Orchestra Redresses the Push-out of Black Practitioners from Classical Music” (Harvard University). As a writer, her works have appeared on NewMusicBox (“The Cultural Citizen: How Classical Music Got Me Woke") as well as in the International Journal of Women in Music (“Margaret Bonds and The Ballad of the Brown King: A Historical Overview”). She is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Hunter College, where she teaches chamber music, harp, and courses such as the History of Soul Music, 1963-1974.
Dr. Jackson holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School, a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University.