Ashley St Pierre

Ashley St Pierre

BandJazzSinger/Songwriter

A collection of contemporary jazz originals and unique arrangements of jazz standards, "Star Spinning" is a strong debut for singer/composer Ashley St Pierre. Accompanied by juno-award winning Mike Murley, Mike Malone, Adrean Farrugia and more.

Biography

Ashley fell in love with jazz as a young girl while learning the art of dance. When she first heard a recording of Etta James singing “At Last”, she began listening to as much of it as she could, learning most of her technique and repertoire from recordings. She enjoyed memorizing Ella Fitzgerald’s scat solos and trying to imitate the great tone quality she was hearing in various singers. It wasn’t until her teen years though that Ashley discovered there was a world of jazz outside of the older recordings. “I remember my dad calling me downstairs to hear a jazz singer on TV. It was Diana Krall and she was singing on an awards show. I had never heard anyone current singing jazz! I was captivated.” It was then that the idea of a career in jazz first appeared.
So she followed her heart to Hamilton where she studied jazz voice and composition at Mohawk College. During her 2nd and 3rd years she received full scholarship awards at the college. She graduated from the 3 year program in 2005 with honours. Some of her teachers at the college included Mike Malone, Dave McMurdo, Nick Deutch, Jason Logue and Chris Hunt. Ashley studied privately under voice teachers Bob Hamper and Carol McCartney.
While studying at Mohawk Ashley discovered her love for composition. “Kenny Wheeler and Norma Winstone came to the school to do a week long workshop and I was so inspired by Kenny’s compositions. I found Norma to be quite an inspiration too. She writes beautiful lyrics and when she sang through one of my original songs I learned so much about phrasing. When I was in my 3rd year studying big band arranging with Dave McMurdo, Dave played some of Maria Schneider’s music for me and I remember having mixed emotions at the time. I was in awe of the beauty I was experiencing and yet my admiration was mixed with a disappointment in myself. She had created the music I wished to express.”
Since leaving school Ashley has acquired extensive experience in the music field having performed at an array of venues. Some of these include The Montreal Bistro, The Rex Jazz Bar, Gate 403, The Ontario Science Centre, Queen’s Landing Hotel, Fort Erie Race Track, Ancaster Golf and Country Club, Chateau des Charmes, as well as many weddings and corporate/social events. In 2007 Ashley participated in the TD Toronto Jazz Festival and the Burlington Jazz Festival.
She has been called “a truly classy performer with a classic voice”, and is said to have a “contagious enthusiasm”. Her original music and singing has been played on 91.1 JAZZ FM radioin Toronto and WHUS 91.7 in Connecticut. She has performed with such great musicians as Adrian Farrugia, Reg Schwager, Mike Malone, Dave McMurdo, Pat Collins, and Kevin Dempsey. Above all, she brings passion and integrity to her work. For more information visit www.ashleystpierre.com or check out Ashley’s myspace at www.myspace.com/ashleystpierremusic.

Lyrics

A Momentary Lapse

Written By: Ashley St Pierre

He calls her name
A pebble hits the window
She thinks of him and sighs
And floats across the room
And then stops to listen
For fear of romance ending
"Courage lead me on, for the time drifts by..."

She calls his name
It echoes on the water
And brushes by his cheek
A warmth to fill the sky
But he wanders now
If he's certain
That their love is honest.

You're Not Here

Written By: Ashley St Pierre

Each kiss a tender song
That's sung the whole night long
By a little bird that perches on
The feathered wings of hope
But you're not mine anymore

Your love echoes the rain
With autumn-weathered pain
The gold and orange leaves of Fall
Have left my branches bare
'Cause you're not here

Though it seems I'm through
And love is just a cruel mirage
I'll get over you
This masquerading night must end

My night was filled with dreams
Of phosphorescent streams
That overflow with reveries of mornings on the shore
But you're not mine anymore.

Emile

Written By: Ashley St Pierre

A lone silhouette
Gold against the sky
He moves to the sea
So proud, so free
Eyes grey as stone or as steel
Yet clear as the sunrise
He laughs and the world is free

So strong his love of life
The sea would bow
So deep his love of truth, his love of virtue

His arms draw me near
Our song rises high
A song of a life unchained and full of joy

Star Spinning

Written By: Ashley St Pierre

Eyes aflame,
I dream of what could be:
A life that's rich in possibilites.
It's ecstacy that lifts me to the stars
Then brings me home.
With pure deliberate notes
That fill the night
An undulating voice leads me to see
That life abounds with reasons to rejoice.
I'm star spinning.

Jorea

Written By: Ashley St Pierre

Slow and tender notes start to rise
They fill the mind with dreams of stars and lullabies
A song that dances high above Jorea
Oh, sounds that make the heart beat breathlessly
It feels so good to love and sing a song that speaks of Jorea

Discography

Ashley released her debut CD "Star Spinning" in January 2008. The CD features 5 originals by Ashley as well as some unique arrangements of standards. The musicians playing on the CD include juno award-winning Mike Murley on tenor sax, Mike Malone on trumpet and flugelhorn, Adrean Farrugia on piano, Mark McIntyre on bass, Mark Inneo on drums, Emile d’Eon on guitar, Alexis Barro on trumpet, Benjamin Barrile on flamenco guitar and Kevin Mendes on cajon. Some of the highlights include the upbeat energetic title track "Star Spinning" with solos by Mike Murley, Mike Malone and Adrean Farrugia, a Dave Holland inspired arrangement of "Nature Boy", the beautiful original "You're Not Here", and a haunting rendition of Michel Legrand's "What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?" played as a piano/vocal duet by Ashley and Adrean. "Star Spinning is available at www.cdbaby.com and www.indiepool.com.

Set List

Sets consist of jazz originals and standards:

A Momentary Lapse
You're Not Here
Nature Boy
God Only Knows
Emile
Star Spinning
Afro Blue
Jorea
What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?
Goodbye Porkpie Hat
The Flame
You're Everything
The Masquerade Is Over
Deedles Blues
O Grande Amor
The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines
Guinnevere
Honeysuckle Rose
Lost Integrity
Black Coffee
Lullaby Of Birdland
Skylark
Wave
The Peacocks/A Timeless Place
'Round Midnight
Agua De Beber
A Time For Love
One Note Samba
Mas Que Nada
Centerpiece
So Danco Samba
...etc...

We usually perform between 2 and 3 sets each lasting 45min to an hour.