Jazzy Ash Chats About Waking Up With the Waves

By Michael Berick

Los Angeles family events - wake up with the waves

Jazzy Ash Performs At The Santa Monica Pier April 23. PHOTO BY STEVE LORENTZEN

The joyous sounds of music will fill the salty ocean air on the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday mornings throughout April. The popular concert series Wake Up With The Waves will return to entertain youngsters, and their parents, with a terrific lineup showcasing some of Southern California’s top family music acts, such as David Tobocman (April 16), Jazzy Ash (April 23) and the Hollow Trees (April 30).

I had the opportunity to ask Ashli Christoval (aka Jazzy Ash) about New Orleans, music and being

What inspired you to use the sounds of New Orleans in your latest album, Bon Voyage From Home?

On my mother’s side, my roots in New Orleans go back at least five generations. I feel so lucky to have been exposed to the enchanting energy of this music so young, and now it’s become my mission to share the music of New Orleans with children worldwide.

Do you find that kids are receptive to this style of music?

As it turns out, New Orleans jazz and children are the perfect match! When I first started, I thought that I would have to convince kids that jazz was cool, but that hasn’t been the case at all. From the first note we play, they’re on board.

Has becoming a parent affected your music making in any surprising ways?

Yes, definitely! It’s because of my boys that I asked myself, “How can I make New Orleans music kid-friendly?”  My original plan was to go to Broadway or sing jazz for adults, but motherhood has permanently changed the course of my career for the better. I can’t possibly imagine loving my career more!

What projects are you working on for 2016?

We’re starting to work on an entire album of revived New Orleans classics, with a young audience in mind, but it will be a while before the release. In the meantime, we’ve got a couple of secret projects coming up for this year, but mum’s the word. Stay tuned!

Wake Up With The Waves, which runs Saturdays through April 30, takes place on the central plaza on the Santa Monica Pier from 10:30 a.m.-noon. For more information, you can visit www.santamonicapier.org/wakeupwiththewaves.

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