Dorothy Ashby  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Dorothy Ashby (August 6, 1932-April 13, 1996) was an American jazz harpist and composer, known for her rendition of "The Windmills of Your Mind".

Critic Scott Yanow writes, "There have been very few jazz harpists in history and Dorothy Ashby was one of the greats. Somehow she was able to play credible bebop on her instrument." There had been jazz harpists prior to Ashby, like Adele Girard, but no one else had adapted the harp to jazz so successfully nor had integrated into such a broad array of musical styles. Her influence certainly opened doors for later jazz harpists like Deborah Henson-Conant, Andreas Vollenweider and Carol Robbins.

Her composition "Essence of Sapphire" is featured on Late Night Tales: Bonobo.


As leader

As sideman

With Freddie Hubbard

With Wade Marcus

With Billy Preston

With Stevie Wonder

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