Wenso Ashby

News

Artistry CD Release

 

Wenso has released his new album “Artistry.“  He is very proud to have moved in an uncharted direction toward an all instrumental tribute to the masters, including Joe Sample and Duke Ellington. Composing this album has been an unbelievable feeling for him... the timing of this record could not be more perfect.

Wenso Ashby Live! @ the Penumbra Theater

 

Wenso Ashby Live! @ the Penumbra Theater, 270 Kent Street, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm ($10 general, $15 Reserved) Ashby is a keyboard player who started out as a producer in hip-hop and has had some significant success in the smooth jazz area, though he calls it Contemporary Jazz.

Lights, Action and Sound on Broadway With Wenso Ashby

 

Capri Theatre on Broadway will be full of lights, action and sounds on Friday, June 17 with The Wenso Ashby

TC Daily Planet article!

 

Check out this article about Wenso Ashby in the Twin Cities Daily Planet: http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/2008/08/10/interview-smooth-jazzers-wenso-ashby-and-zsame.html Interview: Smooth jazzers Wenso Ashby and Zsamé By Dwight Hobbes , TC Daily Planet August 10, 2008 There could be no better fit than Wenso Ashby featuring Zsamé to play St. Paul’s vaunted Selby JazzFest—lovers of mellow music would do well to be in attendance. The Twin Cities have seen the recent loss of two smooth jazz radio stations, and no one has stepped into the breach to rectify this situation. So a healthy audience, left with nowhere to turn on their radio dials, needs to grab every available opportunity to listen to artists this gifted. Composer, producer and keyboard man Wenso Ashby is one of the best at what he does, creating a lush tapestry of sound that, at times, is nothing short of spellbinding—especially when front lady, singer-songsmith Zsamé is at the microphone on splendid vocals. There are three albums: Midnite Walkin’, Wenso Ashby Live, featuring Zsamé, Q’Aisha, and TaVanni, and the newly released Love Is So Amazing, featuring Zsamé. You can’t wrong with any of them and, indeed, are apt to sooner or later end up owning them all if getting locked into a sweet, laid back groove is your thing. September 13, the Selby Avenue JazzFest is at the intersection of Selby and Milton, right outside Golden Thyme Coffee Café. The festival starts at 11 a.m. and goes until 6 in the evening. How did your musical partnership come to be? Wenso Ashby: I came here from D.C. on a visit and was listening to the radio. I didn’t know who she was, but I loved the voice. I called the station [but] couldn’t connect with her. A year later, I came back. Somebody told her I was in town, looking for a vocalist, so I met with her. Zsamé: I wasn’t singing at the point—just goin’ to work, goin’ home. Daily grind. Ashby: We talked. She listened to [my] CD and liked it. Later, we went out to a [rehearsal] area. I asked to do some runs, and she did it a cappella. On the spot. I was like, wow. I immediately said, “I’m gonna stay here.” We started working together. Now, it’s four years later. Each of you easily could go solo. Why stay hooked up? Ashby: If you look at the [new] album, it features Zsamé and it features the saxophone player Willie Moore. Production is what I really love to do—to stay in the background. Zsamé: I always felt the music. It’s funny, because [earlier] I’d been doing vocals for a local hip-hop group, recording at Flyte Time, but when I looked at my music collection, I owned mostly smooth jazz, R&B, soul music. That was the music I was feelin’. This was the opportunity, when I started performing with Wenso, to [be] in my comfort zone. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “This was the opportunity, when I started performing with Wenso, to be in my comfort zone.” -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- You write for the ensemble? Zsamé: I do. And for the live CD, it’s actually kind of funny. When we first met, he brought over this music and wanted me to write words for some of the songs [in the vein] he had in mind when he wrote the music. When I brought [them] back, it was totally different. Ashby: Than the way I wrote it. Zsamé: So, he always jokes about that. “Just like a woman. It came back totally different from the way I gave it to her.” But, you know, I have my own originality within what we’re doing—even when we’re doing covers. Ashby: She can capture the essence of any song. If she hears it, she can capture it. How is it performing together onstage? Ashby: We do the songs over and over, but each performance is a little different. That’s where the intuitive stuff comes in. She’ll go off and do something. Willie will do something. You know how it is. The words may be the same, but the way you feel changes. Each time she sings, it’s a new spark. So, I’m always, “What can I do to enhance that?” I never get tired of hearin’ what she does. You also have another singer on board. Zsamé: Deynn Hampton. She does background vocals. Ashby: She could be an individual artist, too. The thing that works for us as a group is that everybody’s willing to come in and, like Boston [the NBA Celtics] did this year in basketball? All them people, stars, but they put their personal games aside to be a team. I just say here’s the song, here’s the concept, let’s go and do this. Dwight Hobbes is a writer based in the Twin Cities. He contributes regularly to the Daily Planet.

Wenso Ashby At Camp Bar

 

Here’s your chance to see a nationally-recognized jazz musician – for no cover! The Twin Cities Jazz Festival brings the Wenso Ashby Project to the bar from Thursday through Saturday.

Wenso Ashby At The Twin Cities Jazz Festival

 

Wenso Ashby will bring you Smooth Jazz/ at 8:45.

Jazz in the Citiesâ„¢

 

Introducing Jazz in the Cities™ (The Concert Series) with Wenso Ashby Featuring Zsamé. Jazz in the Cities™ is a series of concerts and events where modern jazz meets neo-soul in an atmosphere that is fun, relaxing and you can be yourself. You can find Jazz in the Cities™ at various locations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, including The Bean Scene, Lula's Coffee & Jaz and Amore Coffee. See weekly schedule below and remember to "Keep Jazz Alive". Begining Tuesday October 4, 2005, you can find Jazz in the Cities™ at the following locations: Every Tuesday at The Bean Scene 2220 West Broadway 7pm Every Thursday at Lula's Coffee & Jaz 3400 Nicollet 7pm Alternating Sundays at Amore Coffee on Grand & Milton, St. Paul 6:30pm Jazz in the Cities™ Come ease your mind, relax your body and feel your soul!

Rebirth CD Release

 

Rebirth CD release

LOVE really IS SO AMAZING!

 

Wenso Ashby's new Release, Love Is So Amazing is complete! This CD was 2 years in the making, thank you for hanging in there with us! The CD is graced by the music of several Twin Cities based artists sharing in the passion of creating music including bassists Yohannes Tona and Dan Ristrom. More than a collection of songs, the music is a true reflection of what this collaboration is all about.

Kare 11 and Bellanotte

 

Wenso Ashby recently had the opportunity to play on Kare 11 on Showcase Minnesota, check out this link to see the interview: http://www.showcaseminnesota.com/show/client_article.aspx?storyid=521064 We had a great time meeting Corbin and Rob on Showcase Minnesota and talking about our upcoming performances at Bellanotte!

Wenso Ashby At The Fine Line

 

Wenso Ashby will bring you Smooth Jazz/Neo Soul/R&B at 8:45. Doors open at 7:00 PM with The group Kindred Spirits taking the stage at 7:30. Melody and the Dramatics will start at 10 pm Cover Charge is $5

Happy New Year! 2012

 

Many blessings in the year to come! We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from all of our fans! We look forward to keeping you entertained and connected to the community in 2012 and beyond!

A Sunny Day at the Bean Scene

 

A special thanks to Sonny Day from KMOJ for checking out Jazz in the Cities™ on Tuesday at the Bean Scene. You can listen to Sonny at 89.9 fm from 2am to 5 in the morning. You just might hear some Midnite Walkin or Wenso Live! Email me if you do. Peace. Thanks for all your support. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that this day marks the first time to our knowledge that a selection from Wenso Live featuring Zsamé was aired on the radio.

WOW! Insight Newspaper gives front page press to Wenso Ashby!

 

A performance review, written by the esteemed Mr. Dwight Hobbes, was published by Insight Newspaper in the Twin Cities on August 11, 2008! http://www.insightnews.com/default.asp Many thanks and much respect to Mr. Hobbes for taking an interest in our music and to Insight newspaper for sharing it with you! Most of all, thenk YOU for being with us every step of the way. We just can't say it enough, it is all of you, our family, friends and FANS who motivate us to keep on making music! Love always!

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