Photo by Keri Oberly

Photo by Keri Oberly

Southern California based composer-instrumentalist Ashley Broder's myriad talents and musical accomplishments defy easy description or classification. Fluent on mandolin (both acoustic and electric), violin, and cello, Broder crafts melodies, sonic textures and haunting harmonies that distinguish her works easily from the norm. Classically trained in violin as a child, Broder discovered the mandolin at age eight, then took up the cello in college. Described as a "mandolin phenomenon" by the San Diego Tribune and highly sought after by a wide range of musicians needing to round out their sound, Broder has performed in folk clubs, festivals, bars, dance halls, orchestras, and recording studios. Her duo with accordionist Samantha Harvey, Sam ‘n Ash, was featured on the wildly popular podcast “Welcome to Night Vale,” and Hearth Music raved that The Syncopaths, an in-demand, nationally touring, folk quartet with whom she plays regularly, are "a helluva a band to imitate, and I doubt anyone could do justice to their virtuosic tunes." Most recently, she's been collaborating with violinist, Edwin Huizinga, and guitarist, William Coulter, fusing Bach with traditional and contemporary folk tunes. The trio premiered their "Partita Americana" at the 2018 Carmel Bach Festival.  

Broder's 2016 release, Two Trees, is a long-anticipated solo album featuring all original compositions. Encouraged and guided by bassist/producer Kevin McCormick (Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Jackson Browne, Melissa Etheridge, Brett Dennen, Keb’ Mo’), Broder brought her project into being with a trio of musicians pitching in on accordion, flute and guitar. The record exhibits a wide range of influences, hinting at her diverse background, but maintaining a cohesive and unique sound. Broder's skills as tune-smith, string-arranger, and improviser are on full display as she delivers the majority of the tracks by layering her own instruments.

Always captivated by composition, Broder initially began writing music in fiddle tune form. Craving a new creative medium, she forayed into composing for orchestra after creating chamber music arrangements for various projects. Her most recent undertaking is an eight movement chamber orchestra suite, each movement dedicated to one of the Channel Islands. A premiere is scheduled for fall 2019. More info here.

Some past performances include:

Carmel Bach Festival, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Wintergrass Festival, Lake Eden and Arts Festival, Millpond Festival, Northwest Folklife Festival, Freight and Salvage, Blackstone River Theater, The Station Inn, Swallow Hill, Bijou Theater, UCSC, CSSM, CSUCI, Cal Tech.