Ashley-John Long is a virtuoso bassist and composer active in a diverse range of musical idioms including Jazz and Improvisation, Session Music, Early and Contemporary Chamber Music, and as a Soloist. He graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with 1st Class Honors where he studied double bass with Dominic Seldis, Dudley Phillips, Nick Weldon and Paula Gardiner, and composition with Tim Raymond and Peter Reynolds.
Since graduation he has maintained a busy and varied freelance career which has taken in many strands.
He has performed and recorded with some of the UK's leading Jazz musicians including Art Themen, Simon Spillett, Brandon Allen, Craig Millverton, Alan Barnes, Dave Newton, Geoff Eales, Damon Brown, Bobby Wellins, Osian Roberts, Steve Melling, as well as visiting artists including Scott Hamilton, Erin Dickens, Greg Abate and Daryl Sherman.
Ash has performed internationally as a soloist and has given premiers of numerous new works for solo bass, and toured in 2008 with French double bassist Louis-Michel Marion with a series of recitals featuring music by Xenakis, Bussotti, Scelsi and Barry Guy. Over 20 composers have written new works for him and has had performances broadcast on television and radio throughout the U.K and Europe..
A virtuoso improviser, Ash has developed a unique approach to the instrument creating innovative new performance techniques including methods of preparing the bass whilst performing and recording with some of the music's leading players, including Keith Tippett, Paul Dunmall, Phillip Gibbs, Eugene Chadbourne, Rhodri Davies, Mark Wastell, Patrick Farmer, Paul Dunmall, Dominic Lash, Alex Ward, Bruce Coates, Paul Hession and Christian Munthe.
His work in the orchestral world has taken in everything from Gabrielli to Stockhausen and he has performed as principal double bass with various ensembles, as well as playing a great deal of chamber music and co-founding Ensemble Wreckhead with Adam Bell.
From 2012-14 he toured the world with Nofit State Circus' critically acclaimed show Bianco out of which grew his collaboration with Gareth Jones, resulting in the 'A Place to Start' EP by Fireproof Giant.
As a composer, Ash has carved a niche as a creator of innovative scores that balance fine detail with freedom and flexibility whilst retaining a strong melodic sense. Recent commissions have been acclaimed for their original and inventive writing including; Flux (2006) and Hevelspending (2010) for the Lunar Saxophone Quartet, Songs of the Night (2007) for Joel Garthwaite, and XAS (2008) for himself and Louis-Michel Marion and Dance Miniatures (2013) for the Syzygy Saxophone Quartet and Shelter (2015) and Peacekeeping (2017), chamber operas for Asking4it productions. He has also conducted composition workshops for Art Active in Jazz composition and led school based composition projects resulting in The Island (2017) and Prometheus (2018).
He also works as an educator and has taught at The University of Glamorgan, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff University, County Wexford School of Music (Ireland) and MusicTime School (Milan, Italy) and also teaches Mini Bass projects for Gwent Music.
He was awarded a PhD scholarship by Cardiff University in 2015 where he is undertaking research into contemporary performance practice and composition.
Ashley is a D'Addario Performing Artist and uses Zyex and Helicore bass strings.
Press Quotations and Testimonials
"Ashley-John Long is the most pronounced voice throughout the album — his terrific technique is asserted in creative ways without upsetting the balance of the quartet. His soloing is pretty jaw-dropping throughout. "
“Long has developed into the kind of musician who makes bass solos interesting, he is a supremely imaginative player and a phenomenal technician. The previous week I’d seen him at the Queens Head in Monmouth ...he turned in some brilliant solos then and did so again now combining boundless imagination with jaw dropping technical skill.”
“Right at the cutting edge.”
“Phenomenal Welsh bassist Ashley-John Long – a unique voice on his instrument.”
“Ashley-John Long is a pretty incredible performer yeah; it’s like he has so much music in him that it just bursts out like steam from a pressure cooker”
“Ashley John Long was often a manic presence, contorting himself around his bass.”
Ears for Eyes
“Flux by Ashley John Long, uses complex mathematical equations to derive its musical materials, and the result is a magical texture of static intervals and delicate acoustic beating”
Radio New Zealand
“Plenty of verve and energy propels Ashley John Long’s rather diffuse Hevelspending.”
“Big toned bassist”
“There is much to admire here, particularly the work of Ashley-John Long on bass”
“Incredibly Virtuosic Soloist”