Renowned Musician and Performer Ashley Kate Adams Brings Joins the School of Music

The University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music is excited to welcome Ashley Kate Adams, visiting assistant professor of practice for music & entertainment!

“Ashley Kate Adams is an outstanding musician and an extraordinary example of a modern artist. She has led a successful performance career as a Broadway actor and film star, directed and choreographed musicals, founded a production company for developing independent artists, and served as a coach and mentor to aspiring creatives. I very much look forward to all that she will bring to our students in the School of Music,” said Dr. Kevin Sanders, director for the School of Music.


Ashley Kate Adams is an award-winning actress, producer, #1 best-selling author, educator, director & co-founder of No Reverse Records. Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Adams made her Broadway Debut at 23 in the Tony Award-winning revival of “La Cage Aux Folles.” 

She has appeared in television shows/series, such as “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Royal Pains,” and “Rules of Cool,” She can be heard in “True Detective,” “The Righteous Gemstones,” “Logan Lucky,” “Gemini Man” and “Hillbilly Elegy.” Adams appears in films such as “Pitching Tents,” “1 Message”, and “Love,” of which she won Best Actress at the 2018 NYTF. She filmed the phenomenon “Red Dead Redemption 2” for over five years doubling in the role of Sadie.

In 2011, she began her production company, AKA Studio Productions. The work of AKA Studio Productions has been in 200+ film festivals, including LA Film Festival, ITV Fest, and Toronto Inside Out Fest. 

TV Properties: “Mulligan” (2018 LA Film Festival, 1st Place Flickers RIIFF), “Rules of Cool” (Fullscreen), “Capital Advice” (ITV Fest) and the following films: “Ace” starring Lukas Gage (Toronto Out Fest), “photo op” (Winner SENE Film), “Blindsight” (LA Shorts), “Absent Mind” (Toronto Int’l Shorts) and “Fanatic” by Andrew Chappelle and directed by “Saturday Night Live’s” Taran Killam. 

She inspired and co-produced the feature film “Beauty Mark” (2018 LA Film Festival) and enjoyed filming in her home state of Kentucky. 

Her book, “#BYOP: Be Your Own Producer,” debuted as the #1 best-selling book in the performing arts industry category on Amazon and is one of the leading books on “Producing” at The Drama Book Shop in the Broadway District.

Adams is the proud co-founder and producer at No Reverse Records, LLC, based in New York City and Jackson, TN. Artists include Grammy-Nominee LOLO (Albums: “X” & “Lauren”), Saffron Lips, Music by KOTA and Billboard charting composers Blake Allen and Elise Marra. 

Podcast Development: “Murder She Told”

Adams has shared her experience and expertise at Fordham University and Firehouse Theatre, along with alumni at her alma mater, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she graduated with a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. 

She is thrilled to be home at the University of Memphis, Lambuth, in Music & Entertainment program. In Jackson, she is co-founder of the Vintage Makers Music & Arts Festival. She serves on the Jackson Hidden Tracks board dedicated to creating more opportunities for music for Jackson and preserving the music history of West Tennessee.

Q & A with Adams:

Why are you excited to bring your talent and expertise to UofM + Lambuth? I am honored to bring my talent and expertise to UofM + Lambuth because I am actively invested in a program I care so much about. I have been very fortunate to become acquainted with the program in the past two years through my collaborations with Dr. Jeremy Tubbs & guest teacher Lauren “LOLO” Pritchard. Together we have a record label newly based in the Jackson, TN area and one of our largest priorities is education. We have seen firsthand how a strong program can help elevate post-grad opportunities in the area, region and beyond. Many of our Leadership team members & artists are graduates of this incredible program (Joseph Kyle, Music by KOTA, Evan Cox). I can’t believe I will get to work with the active students I have come to know and love through our community now with greater intention! It will be an honor to be under the Leadership of the great Dr. Tubbs who has led this program with such brilliance and care!

Give one piece of advice to musicians/ entertainers entering the industry? One piece of advice to musicians and entertainers entering the music industry is to create your own work and music! We only move forward in the industry by creating relationships with our art, whether with our collaborators, community, or consumers. Work will always beget work because it is intentional energy, and sometimes like I’ve found myself in this direct scenario, creating opportunities for yourself and your music can breed even more opportunities than you could have imagined!

How do you foster creativity and confidence in your students to follow their ambitions? I foster creativity & confidence in my students by first creating a safe place for them to explore their art. I never want one of my students to feel like I am an onlooker when sharing in their creative space. I want them to know I am their #1 cheerleader in their artistic clarity. I’m a big believer in “consistency being key” in artistic practice and I believe consistency breeds confidence in artistry also within the workflow. I am also a big component of a good life/creativity balance and believe artists in my generation were often taught an “all or nothing” mentality. Especially when navigating “the industry”, I encourage my students and collaborators to aim for a consistent lifetime in the arts, allowing themselves to be fluid throughout life’s many seasons!

What sets Lambuth apart from other schools for students interested in music entertainment? Lambuth is extremely special because it provides authentic hands-on experiences for budding artists in music and entertainment. The students are not just learning; they are “doing,” & in the industry, when hearing about development and training, that’s what we care about! The program at Lambuth provides an introduction to creating relationships that students work within daily outside of the classroom. Dr. Tubbs and I are incredibly passionate about creating opportunities for the students who are ready for their next steps out in the field and work daily on creating these opportunities to bring this program and the city of Jackson to the forefront of the music scene!

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