Ashley Shabankareh - extending grace and space
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In this episode, Monica has an inspiring conversation with Ashley Shabankareh - a musician, musician educator, and administrator based in New Orleans. Ashley is a trombonist, vocalist, the Director of Operations and Programs for the Trombone Shorty Foundation, works with a wide variety of organizations (including Artist Core New Orleans, New Orleans Jazz Museum, Up Beat Academy Foundation, the Jazz Education Network, Folk Alliance International, and currently serves as the Chapter Governor for the Recording Academy Memphis chapter), teaches at Loyola University, and is an artist, costume maker and dancer.
Monica and Ashley talk about the challenges with explaining what we do as creatives in a label-oriented world, describing music in terms of bands instead of genres, sharing different influences and listening habits, as well as some listening recommendations. They also have a candid conversation about the process over the end product and allowing people to fail without negative repercussions, the little bit of panic and stress that still comes from being asked to solo and dissecting why that is and how to approach learning differently from a place of extending the grace and space which allow to each other grow, while acknowledging that each of us may bring different experiences, understandings, disabilities, mental health factors, etc into any musical situation. Ashley shares how sometimes the hardest things that happen to us can also be gifts, how we are more than our titles, and the importance of allowing calm and relaxation into our lives. She also answers the “Behind the Curtain” questions.
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“I just think, period, that there is still so much grace and space that we can extend to one another recognizing that when you come in to play music, you aren’t just coming in to play your instrument and act like you are an autonomous human being, you’re coming in where you have gone through whatever sort of circumstances of your day.” - Ashley Shabankareh