Label me, I conform.
Accept me, I create.
— Ava Preston

Ava Preston is a 14-year-old singer/songwriter based in the Cleveland area. Most recently, Ava won 1st place in the 2018 National Downbeat Magazine Student Music Awards in two categories: Best Jazz Vocalist & Best Blues, Pop/Rock Vocalist in Junior High School. She also was invited to perform for TEDX at the Goodyear Theater in Akron, Ohio.

Already a regular performer at prestigious venues in the Cleveland/Akron area (including Blu Jazz+, Nighttown, Bop Stop at the Music School Settlement & The Beachland Ballroom), Ava's mentors include pianist Theron Brown (Director of the Rubber City Blues & Jazz & Blues Festival), trumpeter Dominick Farinacci (TED Speaker & former Global Ambassador to Jazz at Lincoln Center) and several other iconic artists in the area.

Ava's artistic influences and inspiration are best explained in her own words. She writes:

Creativity is the lifeblood of all of my music. It shapes my reality and fuels my performance and writing. The subtle things in life are what inspire me to create: everything from watching rain fall to drawing a scene seems to spark some sort of melody. I have found that it is harder to press your mind for an idea than it is to just sit back and let ideas flow natrually. I use my emotions, my dream journal, and various meditation sessions to come upon inspiration.

I find people inspiring most of all. By people, I am refering to artists of music and such. I find great joy in listening to the vocal “greats” including Ella Fitsgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Louis Armstrong and Nina Simone, to name a few. Their strong voices, not only in their singing, but in equality for all, truly made jazz into a movement as much as a genre. More modern artists such as Somi, Nora Jones, Esperanza Spalding, Diana Krall, Sarah Bareilles, Stevie Nicks, and Eva Cassidy foster my fondness of music and stimulate my creative expression.