A sought-after and versatile jazz trumpeter in New Orleans, Ashlin Parker plays with large and small ensembles nationally and internationally. His solos have been described at various times as being lyrical or fiery, with throaty growls or "brilliant vibrato," and with lightning staccato runs or "superb legato" phrasing. Another reviewer noted that when he is part of a front-line, Ashlin can bring energy, bite, and zest to a performance through engaging in "fine counterpoint duets" or spirited trading with other horn players. Although he leads and plays with various ensembles in New Orleans, Ashlin has also played throughout the world with extraordinary musicians, including countries such as Australia, Barbados, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, and Wales.
Ashlin has recently returned from playing and teaching at schools, clubs, and festivals in Australia and Switzerland in the summer of 2019. His Trumpet Mafia project was featured throughout the JazzAscona Festival in 2019, with multi-aged participants from multiple countries. The Trumpet Mafia made their festival debut at the 2015 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and has entertained crowds at that and other festivals every subsequent year, including a commercial and then light-hearted fun over a misspelling of their name in the Satchmo SummerFest program. The Trumpet Mafia now has international membership, including artists in Japan, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, England, and Germany. One reviewer has called the Trumpet Mafia "an immensely talented band." Trumpet Mafia won the OffBeat Magazine’s Best of the Beat Award as Emerging Artist of the Year in 2017. At the 2018 and 2019 Satchmo SummerFests, the Trumpet Mafia was given the honor of leading the final performance of the festival, a trumpet tribute to Louis Armstrong.
Ashlin has been a member of the Ellis Marsalis Quintet since 2014; he also plays regularly with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Bill Summers and Jazalsa, and Pat Casey and the New Sound. He has been a member a wide variety of other jazz ensembles, such as Jesse McBride’s The Next Generation Big Band, Delfeayo Marsalis’ Uptown Jazz Orchestra, Leroy Jones’ Original Hurricane Brass Band , Khris Royal and Dark Matter, Vivaz!, Matt Lemmler’s New Orleans Jazz Revival Band, the Roland Guerin Ensemble, Grayson Brockamp and the New Orleans Wildlife Band, the NOLA Players, and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. He has played with amazingly talented musicians such as Jason Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Terence Blanchard, Aaron Fletcher, Tim Warfield, Brian Blade, Vincent Gardner, Kermit Ruffins, Nicholas Payton, Dr. John, Maurice Brown, Igor Butman, Toedross Avery, Carl Allen, Rodney Whitaker, Brice Winston, Aretha Franklin, Anthony Hamilton, Germaine Bazzle, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Rafael Saadiq, PJ Morton, Quiana Lynell, Frankie Avalon, and the O’Jay’s.
Ashlin has been recording with various artists every year since 2009, resulting in more than 30 albums from 2009-2019 with artists such as Ellis Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, Harold Battiste, Fermin Muguruza, and Kermit Ruffins. He has solos and featured tracks on many of these albums, such as Java on Songs: The Music of Allen Toussaint (New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, 2019), Someday We'll All Be Free on Unbroken (Tiffany Austin, 2018), Blood on the Leaves on Black is Beltza Soinu-Bandu (Fermin Muguruza, 2018), Zee Blues on The Ellis Marsalis Quintet Plays the Music of Ellis Marsalis (2017), Angola on New Orleans Jazz Orchestra Live at Newport (2017), and Indian Red on Heirs of the Crescent City (Jason Marsalis, 2016).
Ashlin has made a variety of appearances on radio (WWOZ 90.7 New Orleans, WOXL 96.5 Asheville), TV news (WGNO-ABC New Orleans, CNN, TVOne, WABC-New York, WGN-TV Chicago, WWL-TV New Orleans), TV series (as a musician: NCIS New Orleans; Southern Charm New Orleans; Hate Thy Neighbor; The Preacher), documentaries (as himself: Heirs, Échappées Belles, 244: Louisiane and Jazz: Bolshoi Walk), and with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra on the Russian jazz competition series on Kultura TV in Moscow: Bolshoi Jazz. On behalf of the New Orleans Jazz Museum, he was interviewed by NPR host, Fred Kasten. He and Ellis Marsalis appeared in a commercial for the 2018 Satchmo Summerfest.
Ashlin has been teaching various aspects of jazz, including improvisation, theory, repertoire, arranging, and performance preparation in private lessons, courses, summer institutes, jazz camps, and master classes for more than fifteen years. He teaches children and teenagers at the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music (2015- present), teaches applied lessons in jazz trumpet at the University of New Orleans (2011-present), and is serving as a visiting assistant professor of jazz studies at Tulane University (2018-2020).
Honors include sharing in the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble for the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra’s debut album, entitled Book One. Trumpet Mafia won the OffBeat Magazine’s 2017 Best of the Beat Award: Emerging Artist of the Year. Ashlin was nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Artist and Best Trumpeter in Offbeat Magazine’s 2018 Best of the Beat Awards. Ashlin won the French Quarter Fest, Inc. 2018 Spirit of Satchmo Award for his musical contributions to New Orleans. He holds the Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from Shenandoah University Conservatory (2005) and the Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of New Orleans (2009).