Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ashley Schiff

New York born and bred Ashley Schiff, daughter of philanthropists and art collectors, David (pictured left) and Lisa Schiff, went to Yale where she studied pre-med and played on the polo team. After college, she dropped the med school and continued the polo, acquiring her own ponies, playing in matches in the summertime in the Hamptons and in Wellington in the winter.

Possibly through her pianist mother’s interest in jazz, Ashley got involved in Jazz @ Lincoln Center just as the organization was expanding and raising funds for the move to their own facilities in the new Time-Warner Building on Columbus Circle.

For the past two years, she’s chaired the fund-raising gala for J@LC at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem where they’ve raised several million for the organization which is headed by her pal, Wynton Marsalis.

All this while always keeping a day job: she’s worked in public relations here in New York for the past few years for several companies.

Ashley is another one of those young New York woman who could be called a socialite but is mainly a worker. Furthermore her “social” life is motivated either by her business or her passions. She once canceled lunch with me because she flew out to Los Angeles last minute to attend Ray Charles’ funeral with Marsalis. A few nights ago she was working the Partnership for Public Service black tie gala at the Waldorf. As soon as the crowd went into dinner, she went over to Madison Square Garden to catch Eric Clapton’s concert.

An heiress to the venerable investing banking family with blood ties to the Warburgs, the Lehmans and the Loebs who provided funds for some of the greatest corporate, cultural and charitable projects of the 20th Century both here in New York and the entire country, Ashley wears her heritage unassumingly. But like her forebears, she never sloughs off commitments. Fun for her, besides those weekends with her horses, are jazz evenings with her musician pals, or maybe some bowling with old school chums.