Ashley Shabankareh (she/they) is a New Orleans musician, music educator, and arts administrator. Ashley received her M.M. and B.M.E. from Loyola University, New Orleans, with a concentration on conducting and brass instruments. Ashley is a certified K-12 music educator and spent her early years in New Orleans teaching PK4 through 8th grade students. They transitioned from full-time music instruction to assist in the creation of the curriculum and program guidelines for the Tulane University Music Rising Program. In addition, for 13 years, Ashley previously served as the Director of Programs for Preservation Hall Foundation, working with culture bearers and serving over 35,000 per year in programming in schools, detention centers, and community centers. In 2016, she was named a Top Female Achiever by New Orleans Magazine, a New Orleans Hero by the Times-Picayune, and a Woman of the Year by New Orleans City Business. In 2017, Ashley was named a Top Millennial in Music by the Spears Group and I Heart Media.
During the pandemic, Ashley supported the work of numerous arts and cultural organizations. With Artist Corps New Orleans, Ashley helped created the COVID-19 guidelines for music and arts education for New Orleans public schools. Ashley also worked as the Director of Learning and Development for Upbeat Academy Foundation, helping the organization move its work from in-person to a robust virtual program. Additionally, they worked as an Education Specialist for the New Orleans Jazz Museum, developing their virtual field trip program and educator resources.
Today, Ashley currently serves as the Director of Operations and Programs for the Trombone Shorty Foundation. In addition to their work with Trombone Shorty Foundation, Ashley is an Adjunct Professor of Music Education and Music Therapy and Loyola University, New Orleans, an Adjunct Professor of Music Education and Low Brass at Xavier University, and an Adjunct Professor of Creative Industries at Tulane University. Ashley serves as the Board President for Folk Alliance International, Vice President for the Jazz Education Network, Chapter Governor for the Recording Academy Memphis Chapter, and Board Secretary for Second Line Arts Collective. Ashley is a proud member of the Recording Academy, Jazz Education Network, and NAfME.
Ashley is an avid performer and performs as both a trombonist and vocalist. Ashley has performed alongside notable musicians including Aretha Franklin, Allen Toussaint, Theresa Andersson, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and in her own projects, Marina Orchestra, Bra’s Band Brass Band, and the Asylum Chorus.