Ash began playing professionally in 1951 when, together with Tubby Hayes, he joined the band of Kenny Baker, with whom he played until 1953. Following this Ash played with Vic Lewis (1953-56), then accompanied Hoagy Carmichael and Cab Calloway on tours of England.
He led his own ensemble and was a favorite in the Melody Maker fan polls of the 1950s; concurrently he had a radio program called Sunday Break, which discussed jazz and religion. In 1954, the Vic Ash Quartet recorded with US singer Maxine Sullivan in London. Ash toured the U.S. in 1957 and returned to play with Lewis in 1959. His ensemble was the only one representing British jazz at the Newport Jazz Festival that year.
Ash remained a mainstay of the British jazz scene for decades, playing in small and large ensembles including the BBC Big Band. He accompanied Frank Sinatra on tours in Europe and the Middle East from 1970 up until Sinatra's death.
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