Ashley Cross is an improvising guitar player specialising in jazz, original composed music and self organising or free music. He is a graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts, earning his Masters of Music at that institution in 1999. Ashley has developed an approach to the electric guitar that draws on jazz and classical as well as other electric guitar idioms but infuses some of his own ideas about how the electric guitar should sound. His main musical interests lie in the area of small interactive ensembles playing original compositions, jazz standards and self organising free improvisations. His chief interest in music is the very processes of improvisation (spirit, mind, body) itself as well as the music that is made manifest as a result of this process. He has freelanced extensively throughout the Melbourne area playing both originally conceived music and the standard jazz repertoire. His playing and compositions can be heard on two CDs by the Melbourne improvising ensemble Zeno’s Wig, “Eyes and Instinct” and “Bare”. His latest musical endeavours have been with the trio Thisisis, a partnership with colleagues Rob Vincs and Anita Hustas. As a teacher Ashley encourages students to find their own path in music based on a solid understanding of the underlying principles of improvised music alongside a clear understanding of the history of the music from both a national and international perspective, giving students an awareness of how the music they play and compose works within the context of their surrounding culture.