Ashlee Varner

Associate Professor


Ashlee Varner is a pianist, vocalist, educator, arranger, and composer from Pennsylvania. Specializing in jazz, pop, R&B, and gospel, she has toured throughout the world and performed and recorded with numerous groups, including Northern Colorado Voices, Lee Singers, and the Ken Brown Band. In 2014, she won Downbeat magazine’s award for “Best Graduate College Jazz Vocal Soloist.” She holds an undergraduate degree from Lee University in Music Business and Music Ed. with an emphasis in classical piano (secondary in classical voice), a M.M. degree from the University of TN in Knoxville with an emphasis in jazz piano studies, and has completed coursework toward her doctoral degree in jazz piano studies with a secondary emphasis in vocal pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado. Varner continues to perform in a variety of idioms and is best known for her unique vocal arrangements and self-accompanied performances. In addition to performing, she works as a freelance transcriptionist and serves as a vocal clinician and adjudicator for various festivals. Her latest recording work is featured on Kenneth Brown’s album, 3 Down, produced by Donald Brown and featuring Jeremy Pelt on trumpet and Greg Tardy on sax. The album has received international radio play (France, England, and United States) and appeared at #27 in Jazz Week's Top 50 chart.