Innovators Network

Marty Ashby – Executive Producer, MCG Jazz

Marty Ashby is Executive Producer of MCG Jazz, a social enterprise supporting the programs of the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (MCG), a nonprofit organization located in Pittsburgh, PA. The MCG Jazz record label has won three GRAMMY® Awards, the latest for R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs, Very Personal) by Nancy Wilson for Best Jazz Vocal Album (2005).

Ashby has been artistic advisor, producer and performer at jazz concerts and festivals around the country for over 20 years. Since 1987 he has been the Artistic Director of the Animal Crackers Jazz Series in Racine, WI, and for the last five years he was the Artistic Director of the Jazz on the Circle Series at Severance Hall in Cleveland, OH. Marty also produced the Jazz at Seven Springs Jazz Festival from 1988-2000. Marty has led workshops and panel discussions for The American Federation of Jazz Societies, Arts Midwest, Southern Arts Federation, International Association for Jazz Education and the National Jazz Service Organization. He has also served as a panelist for several state arts councils, the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and five consecutive years for the National Endowment for the Arts.

As a guitarist, Marty performs all over the world with The Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band and has performed and recorded with Nancy Wilson, Paquito D’Rivera, Slide Hampton, Louie Bellson and Herbie Mann. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Ithaca College and a Masters in Music from Duquesne University. Marty is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and a member of the Society of American Magicians (SAM).

For the past two years, Marty has spearheaded a multi-year broad-based initiative to expand the audience for jazz, the programs of which are built on sustainable funding models involving new public/private partnerships. The National Jazz Sponsorship Platform brings together multiple jazz presenters and properties to increase market share for jazz and the Jazz Is Life™ campaign was developed as an umbrella brand identity for jazz.

Photo: Brandon McChesney

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