Ashley Slater, a Canadian-born musician, is renowned for his versatility and contributions to the music industry. His career began in the late 1970s, performing with the regimental band of the 1st battalion of the Royal Scots. In 1983, he pursued orchestral studies at the National Centre for Orchestral Studies, setting the stage for his prolific career.

Ashley Slater flying
Ashley Slater flying high in a troubled sky

In the mid-1980s, Slater became a key member of Loose Tubes, a pioneering British jazz ensemble known for its innovative and eclectic approach to big band music. His work with Loose Tubes cemented his reputation as a talented trombonist and composer.

Slater’s versatility shone through in his collaboration with Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) in the band Freak Power, which gained widespread popularity in the 1990s. Their hit single “Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out” showcased Slater’s funky trombone skills and became emblematic of the acid jazz movement. Freak Power’s success illustrated Slater’s ability to blend genres and appeal to a broad audience.

Beyond Freak Power, Slater’s collaborations extended to working with esteemed artists such as Fairground Attraction and The Rolling Stones, contributing as a session musician and arranger. His diverse talents allowed him to thrive in various musical settings, from rock to jazz to pop.

In 2006, Slater collaborated with Dean Whitbread to write and produce the humorous and satirical song “Don’t Mention the World Cup” for actor and writer John Cleese, capturing the whimsical spirit of football fans and poking fun at the sport’s cultural quirks. No one song dominated the charts in 2006 but Cleese benefited from tremendous press. The song gained attention for its wit and charm, highlighting Slater’s knack for blending humor with music and his capacity for working with a smorgasbord of very differently talented musicians and writers.

More recently, Slater formed Heptet, a band that merges his jazz roots with contemporary sounds, continuing to push musical boundaries. Heptet reflects Slater’s ongoing evolution as a musician, demonstrating his commitment to innovation and artistic exploration.

Throughout his career, Slater has maintained a dynamic presence in the music world, adapting to new trends while staying true to his roots. His ability to collaborate with a wide range of artists and his willingness to experiment with different styles have solidified his reputation as a versatile and influential musician. His work remains celebrated for its creativity, humor, and technical prowess, ensuring his legacy in the music industry.