Shelley Washington


I am a composer, performer, collaborator, and educator who grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. I like to write music with a big palette that draws elements from jazz, rock, American folk and other contemporary musical spaces. I also perform regularly as a saxophonist, primarily wielding the baritone saxophone, and I love making lots and lots of noise.

The music I write focuses on exploring emotions and intentions by finding their root cause. I want a listener to somehow move, for their emotions or imaginations to be altered, or even just be moved to tap their toes. My music explores intricate rhythms to encourage a sort of layered listening through grooves, melody, and harmony. In the music I write that confronts known social injustices, I want to create a space for public dialogue while personally reclaiming power for my own experienced inequalities. Shaking the cages, raging against the machine, and supporting others make me happy.

I am also a vocalist, and double on flute, piccolo, clarinet, and (when the opportunity arises) English handbells. I really enjoy playing music from any genre, and enjoy it most when my friends, new and old, write for me. I also love learning and teaching! I am currently the Artistic Director for the Noel Pointer Foundation located in Brooklyn, NY. I'm also a founding member of the composer collective Kinds of Kings. In Fall of 2018 I'll be heading to Princeton University to start the PhD program, which I am very much looking forward to.


[source: https://www.shelleywashington.com/bio/]

Click company name to view productions details.
Boston Lyric Operadesert in6/3/2021 - 7/1/2021
Long Beach Operadesert in6/3/2021 - 6/24/2021
Experiments in OperaChunky in Heat5/31/2019 - 6/2/2019

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Chunky in Heat
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