The new Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series at the Hermitage launches with the premiere event, “Soulful Strings: An Evening of Harp Music,” on Tuesday, June 7 at 8pm at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, featuring acclaimed harpist and returning Hermitage Fellow Ashley Jackson. The outdoor event is free and open to the public with a $5/person registration fee.
The Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series at the Hermitage offers the opportunity for a distinguished Hermitage alumni composer or musician to return for additional residency time and a special community concert. This initiative is made possible by a generous multi-year gift from the Ruby E. and Carole Crosby Family Foundation. Hermitage Trustee Carole Crosby initiated this gift as a special tribute to her mother Ruby, who helped to inspire her deep love of music. Ashley Jackson is a particularly fitting Hermitage alumna to launch this new initiative, as Carole Crosby is a harpist herself, having graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music and played in both the Atlanta Symphony and Detroit Symphony.
“I am continually inspired by the Hermitage’s commitment to artists and the impact these magnificent talents are having in our community,” said Hermitage Trustee Carole Crosby. “Music was always incredibly important to me and to my mother, so it is an honor to celebrate her memory with this new initiative spotlighting and supporting some truly extraordinary composers and musicians.”
“We are incredibly grateful to Carole Crosby for this generous gift and her continued belief in the work we are doing,” added Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “As we look to reengage with and provide new opportunities for returning Hermitage alumni, this generous gift from Carole in honor of her mother allows us to celebrate some of the brilliant musical talents who have come to know Sarasota through their time at the Hermitage and to share their latest work with the members of our community.”
Praised for her “soulful” and “eloquent” playing (Musical America), Hermitage alumna and celebrated harpist Ashley Jackson enjoys a multifaceted career as a highly sought-after musician and collaborator in New York and beyond. As a soloist, she has performed at Lincoln Center, Celebrate Brooklyn!, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. She has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Qatar Philharmonic, and is a regular member of the Harlem Chamber Players. Jackson is currently working on her debut solo album Ennanga, an exploration of African-American spirituals and their influence on other forms of American musical expression. She is currently an Assistant Professor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Music Department at Hunter College. Jackson holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Juilliard School, a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University. AshleyJacksonHarp.com
Ashley Jackson’s concert and Hermitage residency are made possible through the Ruby E. Crosby Alumni Music Series at the Hermitage.