Musical Influences:
Luciano Pavarotti, Jascha Heifetz, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau

Greatest feeling:
The feeling of truly communicating with an audience in the moment. It’s a thrill and a high unlike anything in the world.

What have you been listening to lately:
Maria Callas, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Gould, Astor Piazzolla…

Personal motto:
Anything is possible.

Three words that best describe you:
Passionate, Optimistic, Curious

Greatest perk of your profession:
Getting to do what I love.

If you weren’t a musician:
Acting has always fascinated me and the similarities to making music are very interesting.

What advice would you give other young artists starting out:
Always do it for the love of it. Follow your instincts and don’t let people tell you what you can’t do.

Favorite Movies:
Cinema Paradiso, Spirited Away, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Vertigo, Lord of the Rings, Harvey…

Favorite types of books:

What do you love about the saxophone:
It can be played with such emotional intensity yet subtletly and sing like a voice. It’s capable of an incredible beauty. It also has a mainstream appeal that makes it perfect for reaching new and broader audiences.

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Ashu

  1. The first recital he ever performed took place at Carnegie Hall.
  2. Inspired to start playing the saxophone after hearing a busker on a dark street corner while growing up in San Francisco.
  3. Growing up without a music player or any albums at home, his first CD was of Luciano Pavarotti, which made him want to become a soloist.
  4. While growing up, was constantly told that a solo career on the saxophone wasn’t possible and was repeatedly urged to give it up.
  5. Has had the good fortune of winning every competition he has entered (over 20).
  6. Won First Place at a swimming championships in the butterfly stroke.
  7. Has gotten to travel around the world: Japan, South Africa, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Netherlands, India, Venezuela, Canada, England, Portugal, Switzerland, Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, Finland, Estonia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Poland, Austria…
  8. Has arranged over 60 works for saxophone and piano in the past few years, from Rachmaninoff and Korngold to Morricone and Piazzolla.