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With a career spanning five decades, jazz flutist Ali Ryerson has consistently ranked among the top flutists in the Downbeat Jazz Poll for well over a decade. Born in 1952 in New York City, Ali grew up in a musical family. Her father, Art Ryerson, was a renowned jazz guitarist who got his start with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, and later became a top studio player in NYC, recording with everyone from Louis Armstrong, Erroll Garner, Charlie Parker, and Sarah Vaughan, to Frank Sinatra. Ali Ryerson has carried on the family tradition, becoming an international touring/recording artist, with performances ranging from Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, to the Blue Note (NYC and Japan), plus festival appearances worldwide. Ryerson has released over two dozen albums on major jazz labels, including Concord Records, DMP, Capri, and legendary jazz producer Bob Thiele’s final jazz label, Red Baron. When Ryerson’s groundbreaking Jazz Flute Big Band released their debut CD, Game Changer on Capri Records, the album hit the ‘TOP 10’ on the US Jazz Charts for six straight weeks.

Ali has recorded and/or performed with jazz greats such as Red Rodney, Roy Haynes, Kenny Barron, Frank Wess, Hubert Laws, Stephane Grappelli, Harold Danko, Art Farmer, Mike Mainieri, Joe Beck, The Levin Brothers, and Gene Bertoncini, and a guest appearance with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. She has also performed with classical artists Julius Baker and Luciano Pavarotti (when she was principal flutist with the Monterey Bay Orchestra). Ali was musical director of the Hudson River Regional Jazz Festival (2001-’04), Jazz Chair for the National Flute Association, and founder of the NFA Jazz Flute Big Band. As an educator and author, Ryerson published the widely acclaimed Jazz Flute Practice Method, and conducts master classes worldwide. Ryerson is a Gemeinhardt Artist with an Autograph Series of flutes by Gemeinhardt Musical Instruments.

Ali, a classically trained musician, studied with Harold Bennett (principal flutist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) and John Wion (principal flutist with the New York City Opera Orchestra). She has served as Jazz Chair and Low Flutes Chair for the National Flute Association, was the founder of the NFA Jazz Flute Big Band, and is currently NFA Program Chair for the 2023 National Flute convention in Phoenix. As an educator, Ryerson published her widely acclaimed book,  Jazz Flute Practice Method, conducts master classes worldwide, and teaches an online series for Lessonface. As a composer, Ryerson's works are published by Presser, Edition Kossack, and ACR Music. Ms. Ryerson is a Gemeinhardt Artist with an Autograph Series of professional flutes.

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Photo credits: Dennis Guillaume


Windows (C. Corea) - Ali Ryerson Quartet
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Estate (B. Martino) - Ali Ryerson
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Live in Concert....


"Ali is a scintillatingly charming woman. She converses easily with the audience, tells stories, regales us with jokes as easily as she communicates with her partner Joe when they play. You can tell she is completely comfortable in her own skin, she is a diva in the best sense of the word, as in, she has a larger-than-life quality ingrained in every move she makes. She is modest, non-pretentious; but she draws you in with her smile, totally entrances you with her laugh, and wins you over for life with her playing. There is no vanity in the way she carries herself or a desire to be flashy, extravagant, create an impression. She is all about the music, she serves it, molds it, makes it her own. She has her eyes mostly closed as she performs, swaying ever so slightly, her foot tapping to the beat but not loudly, just making contact with the ground, a millimeter at a time. She is at the mercy of her instruments, which she plays with such amazing proficiency that you forget that she is not glued to them and are slightly surprised when she actually puts one down in the stand to exchange it with the other. She is a woman serenely possessed and it is beautiful to behold such internal abandon up close."

Hartford Courant



‘Con Brio!’ on ACR Music

Pete Levin, piano and keyboard

Mike Mainieri, vibes

Mike DeMicco, guitar

Mark Egan, bass

Danny Gottlieb, drums





"Contemporary...reminiscent of CTI record independent spirit"

 Jazz Times


"Ali (is) at the height of her powers, exhibiting all the qualities of lyricism, intelligence and grace that have been the hallmark of her work for decades"


“Ali Ryerson has long been one of jazz’s top flute players. Ryerson is heard at the peak of her powers. This gem is well worth searching for.”

 LA Jazz Scene

Brazilian Divertamento 2 (Manfredo Fest) - Ali Ryerson - Bert Dalton/Brazil Project
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Jazz Folk (J. Abercrombie) - Ali Ryerson Quartet
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Eclipse (M. DeMicco) - Ali Ryerson Quartet
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The Summer Knows (M. Legrand) - Ali Ryerson Quartet
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19-piece jazz ensemble with guest soloists

Hubert Laws, Holly Hofmann and Nestor Torres


Mark Levine, piano; Rufus Reid, bass; Akira Tana, drums


"Ridiculously Great CD!"

KUNV - Las Vegas

"Breathtaking...a magnificent recording 

from beginning to end"


"When it comes to the Ali Ryerson Jazz Flute Big Band debut CD Game Changer (Capri Records), “breathtaking” is literally and figuratively the only way to describe it, both in terms of its conception and execution. Simply put, it is a magnificent recording from beginning to end"  

JAZZ PROFILES - Steven Cerra 


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