Gina Leishman

Composer, Multi-instrumentalist, and Singer

C.V.

gleishman@earthlink.net
www.ginaleishman.com

Born: London, U.K.
Lives and works in New York, NY

EDUCATION

1968-1969 Vienna Academy of Music. Piano and voice
1969-1973 Edinburgh University. Bachelor of Music (Honours)

INSTRUMENTS

Piano, voice, alto and baritone sax, bass clarinet, piccolo, accordion, pump organ, soprano and baritone ukulele, mandola, glass

ENSEMBLES (current)

  • 2009 – present Baseless Rumours (leader), chamber ensemble
    w/ Doug Wieselman , Charlie Burnham and Marika Hughes
  • 2004 – present In My Skin (leader), dedicated to the Leishman Songbook
    w/ Charlie Burnham, Matt Munisteri and Greg Cohen
  • 1998 – present Mr. Wau-Wa (co-leader), dedicated to the songs of Bertolt Brecht
    w/ Rinde Eckert, Doug Wieselman, Marcus Rojas and Kenny Wollesen
  • 1983 – present Kamikaze Ground Crew septet (co-leader), dedicated to original composition
    w/ Doug Wieselman (co-leader), Peter Apfelbaum, Steven Bernstein, Art Baron, Marcus Rojas and Kenny Wollesen

RECORDINGS

  • Baseless Rumors (GCQ Records, 2011)
  • In My Skin (GCQ Records, 2007)
  • Bed Time (GCQ Records, 2004)
  • O Mistress Mine (GCQ Records, 2004)
  • With Kamikaze Ground Crew:
    • Postcards from the Highwire (Busmeat Records, 2007)
    • Covers (Koch Jazz, 2000)
    • Madam Marie’s Temple of Knowledge (New World Records, 1993)
    • The Scenic Route (New World Records, 1990)
    • Kamikaze Ground Crew (Busmeat Records, 1985, re-issued on Koch Jazz, 2001)
  • Mr. Wau Wa plays the songs of Bertolt Brecht (Busmeat Records, 2001)
  • Lost in Life (GCQ Records, 1986)

SELECTED PERFORMANCE HISTORY

2000 – Present

Orfeo in Orvieto, an adaptation of Monteverdi’s opera Orfeo for Compagnia de’ Colombari, conceived and directed by Karin Coonrod, musical adaptation and direction by GL. Premiered in Palazzo Simoncelli, Orvieto, Italy (2014)

The World is Round is Round is Round is Round, an adaptation of Gertrude Stein’s book for Compagnia de’ Colombari, conceived and directed by Karin Coonrod, original music and music direction by GL. Premiered at Arts, Letters & Numbers, The Mill, Averill Park, NY (2013); workshop production at Colgate Universtiy (2012)

Septimus & Clarissa, based on Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, adapted by Ellen McLaughlin, directed by Rachel Dickstein. Original score. Workshop production at CSC, NYC (2010) premiered at Baruch Performing Arts Center, NYC (2011) (Drama Desk Award nomination for score)

Orpheus X, by Rinde Eckert. Music director, piano and keyboards. The Duke @ 42nd St., NYC (2009)

Uncivil Wars: Moving with Brecht & Eisler, adapted from Roundheads and Peakheads by Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler, directed by David Gordon. Music Director, arranger, actor, musician. The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, & Peak Performances, Montclair NJ (2009); The Kitchen, New York City (2007)

With Kamikaze Sound Crew:
USA: New York City: Museum of Modern Art (2008), Barbes (2008-2011), Joe’s Pub (2003, 2005), Jazz on the Park (2004), Symphony Space (2003), Merkin Hall (2001), BAM Café (2000), Tonic (2000-2006); San Francisco JazzFest (2006); Seattle Earshot Jazz (2006)

Europe (2000): Germany: Donaueschingen New Music Festival; Bremen; Karlsruhe; Halle. Netherlands: Utrecht Jazz Festival. Norway: Vossa Jazz Festival. Sweden: Gerlesborg. Austria: Vienna. France: Besançon

With Mr. Wau-Wa, Baseless Rumors & In My Skin 4tet, solo etc. (New York City): Lincoln Center (2001), Symphony Space (2000, 2003), Merkin Hall (2000), Joe’s Pub (2000, 2001, 2006, 2009), BAM Café (2000, 2002), Neue Gallerie (2003), 92ndSt.Y (2007), Brecht Forum (2005, 2007), Roulette (2002-2005), Tonic (2002-2005), Barbes (2004-20011), The Stone (2006-2010), Knitting Factory (2000-2003), Issue Project Room (2005), Bowery Poetry Club (2005, 2007)

Glass concerts (New York City):
with Charlie Burnham (violin) and Marika Hughes (cello), Joe’s Pub (2009); with Miguel Frasconi, glass & toy piano, Issue Project Room (2005); with Kenny Wollesen, percussion and Marcus Rojas, tuba, Issue Project Room (2005); with Marcus Rojas, tuba, Roulette (2003); w/ Beth Custer, clarinet, Roulette (2001)

A Tribute to Connie Converse (1924 – ?), arranger and headline vocalist, Joe’s Pub, NYC (2009)

Millennial Territory Orchestra, guest vocalist (New York City):
Jazz Standard (2006-2008), Tonic (2002-2005), 55 Bar (2009-2011)

Weimar/New York, performer, Spiegeltent (2007), Joe’s Pub (2008)

Jambalaya Katrina Benefit Tour, performer, New Orleans LA, April (2006)

Feast of Fools with Geoff Hoyle, composer & performer, Marines Memorial Theatre, San Franciso, CA, and Northlight Theater, Chicago IL (2003); premiered La Jolla Playhouse CA, (2002)

Star Messengers, written & directed by Paul Zimet. Musician. La Mama E.T.C., New York City (2000)

1990 – 1999

Kamikaze Ground Crew, composer, band-leader, musician: New Sounds Live, WNYC, Knitting Factory, Tonic etc., New York City (ongoing)

Mr. Wau Wa, co-leader, arranger, vocalist & musician: first performance for Brecht Centenary, P.S.122 New York City, 1998 (ongoing)

Solo performances in New York, Roulette, Brecht Forum, Tonic, Knitting Factory etc. (ongoing)

Actaeon, composer: opera in 1 act, Part One of Black Milk (Paul Zimet), La Mama E.T.C. New York City (1998)

Flying Karamazov Brothers & Kamikaze Ground Crew, musician: On Broadway, New York City (1994)

Act Without Words & Endgame (Samuel Beckett), directed by Tony Taccone. Composer, actor and musician. Berkeley Repertory Theater CA (1994)

Good Person of Szechuan (Bertolt Brecht), music by David Hidalgo, directed by Lisa Peterson. Musician, La Jolla Playhouse (1994)

Burning Dreams, composer. opera in 2 acts, libretto by Julie Hebert & Octavio Solis, directed by Sam Woodhouse. San Diego Repertory Theater, CA (1994)

The Bothers Karamazov (Paul Magid) directed by Dan Sullivan. Co-composer, actor and musician. Seattle Repertory Theater & Arena Stage D.C. (1993)

Fear of Falling w/ Dell’Arte. Composer & musician. Humboldt State University CA (1991)

1975 – 1990

Don Quixote de la Jolla (Eric Overmeyer), directed by Stan Woyawodski. Composer, actor and musician. La Jolla Playhouse CA(1990)

Slapstick, w/ Dell’Arte. Composer & musician. Arhus International Theater Festival, Denmark (1989)

12th Night (William Shakespeare) directed by Sharon Ott. Actor & musician. Berkeley Repertory Theater CA (1986)

Kamikaze Ground Crew, composer, co-leader, musician. Dance Theater Workshop, New York City (1985, 1987)
Solo performances at the Noe Valley Ministry, San Francisco CA (1985-1987)

Red Noses (Peter Barnes) with Dell’Arte. Composer and musician. San Diego Repertory Theater CA (1988)

Almost Asleep (Julie Hebert) composer, actor & musician. Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco CA (1988)

With The Flying Karamazov Brothers & Robert Woodruff (actor and musician):

  • Comedy of Errors (William Shakespeare) Goodman Theater, Chicago IL (1983), International Olympic Arts Festival, Los Angeles CA (1984), Lincoln Center, New York City (1987)
  • Juggling And Cheap Theatrics – Broadway, New York City, and national tour (1983-1985)
  • The Three Moscowteers (Paul Magid) – Goodman Theater, Chicago IL (1984)
  • L’histoire Du Soldat (Igor Stravinsky) – BAM Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn NY (1986)

Calliope, co-founder, co-leader, arranger, music director, singer and musician. OR & CA touring band (1981-1982)

Teacher of music and English; pianist at Foreign Correspondent’s Club; Seoul, Korea (1980)

Prince Gabriel’s Fleet, OR & CA touring band (1978-1979)

Threepenny Theater Company, London, U.K. Co-founder & Music Director. (1975-1977)

SELECTED COMPOSTIONS

Opera:

ACTAEON, Part One of Paul Zimet’s Black Milk Quartet, premiered at La Mama E.T.C., New York City (1998), subsequent production at Ohio Theater, New York City (2000)

BURNING DREAMS, full-length opera based on Calderon de la Barca’s La Vida Es Un Sueno, libretto by Octavio Solis and Julie Hebert, directed by Sam Woodhouse. Commissioned through Meet The Composer/Rockefeller/AT&T Jazz Program, premiered at San Diego Repertory Theater (1994)

Orchestra:

EGG OF THE MOON score for the Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic Orchestra (1989-1990)

CHORALES FOR AMERICA, a jazz suite, commissioned by the Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra (1988)

Chamber works:

Large body of miscellaneous songs for solo voice and mixed ensemble (1995-2014)

OUTER REACHES, duets for tuba and glass tiers (2003)

BURNING DREAMS, song cycle (1998)

MENORCA QUARTET, string quartet (1994)

ISABELLE EBERHARDT, song cycle (1994-96)

LOST IN LIFE, solo piano (1985)

Recordings as soloist:

BASELESS RUMORS – Sixteen pieces for mixed ensemble (GCQ Records, 2011)

IN MY SKIN – Twelve songs for voice and mixed ensemble (GCQ Records 2007)

BED TIME – Twelve songs for voice and mixed ensemble (GCQ Records 2004)

O MISTRESS MINE – Songs & incidental music for the plays of William Shakespeare (GCQ Records 2004)

LOST IN LIFE – works for piano solo (GCQ Records,1985)

Works for/Recordings with Kamikaze Ground Crew:

PORTRAITS, commissioned by the Doris Duke Foundation through Chamber Music America: A seven-movement suite in honour of KGC’s 20th anniversary. Premiered at the San Francisco Jazz Festival and Seattle Earshot Jazz Festival, November 2006

POSTCARDS FROM THE HIGH WIRE (Busmeat Records, 2007) including:

  • Love-Go-Round – commissioned by Sudwest Rundfunk for Donaueschingen Musiktage (2000)
  • Habaneras 1, 2 & 3
  • O Mistress Mine

COVERS (Koch Jazz, 2000) including arrangements of:

  • Tierkreis #7 & #12 (Karlheinz Stockhausen)
  • Morning In Bhutan (traditional Tibetan)
  • Easter Sunday (Bertolt Brecht/Hanns Eisler)
  • Epilogue (David Hidalgo)

Hungarian March from Damnation of Faust for Berlioz Bi-Centenary Celebration, Joe’s Pub, New York City (2003)

MADAM MARIE’S TEMPLE OF KNOWLEDGE (New World Records, 1993) including:

  • Cowboys
  • Blue Lake Dances
  • Tears And Tango
  • Baby Doll Lounge
  • Homage Au Soleil

THE SCENIC ROUTE (New World Records, 1991) including:

  • Chorales For America
  • Diamonds Are Just Glass
  • March Of The Floties
  • Fred And Rick Have Tea

KAMIKAZE GROUND CREW (Busmeat Records, 1985, re-issued Koch Jazz, 1997) including:

  • Blue Wheels
  • Rearranging The Deckchairs On The Titanic
  • What?
Music for Theater (original scores with place and date of premiere, unless otherwise indicated):

ORFEO IN ORVIETO, based on Monteverdi’s Orfeo, adapted and directed by Karin Coonrod for Compagnia de’ Colombari. Premiered in Palazzo Simoncelli, Orvieto, Italy (2014)

THE WORLD IS ROUND IS ROUND IS ROUND, after Gertrude Stein, adapted and directed by Karin Coonrod for Compagnia de’ Colombari. Premiered at Arts, Letters & Numbers, The Mill, Averill Park NY (2013); workshop production at Colgate Universtiy (2012)

SEPTIMUS & CLARISSA, after Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, adapted by Ellen McLaughlin, directed by Rachel Dickstein, with Ripe Time. Premiered at Baruch Performing Arts Center, NYC (2011) (Drama Desk Award nomination); workshop production at CSC, NYC (2010)

ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare, directed by Shana Cooper. Yale Repertory Theater (2011)

UNCIVIL WARS: MOVING WITH BRECHT AND EISLER, after Roundheads and Peakheads by Bertolt Brect and Hanns Eisler, directed and choreographed by David Gordon. Music Director, arranger and performer. Peak Performances Montclair NJ & Walker Arts Center Minneapolis MS (2009), The Kitchen NYC (2007)

21 POSITIONS: A Cartographic Dream of the Middle East, by Abdelfattah Abusrour, Lisa Schleisinger & Naomi Wallace, directed by Lisa Peterson. Fordham Lincoln Center (2008)

ORESTES by Euripedes, translated by Anne Carson, directed by David Esbjornson. 92nd St.Y (2007)

MOTHER COURAGE by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Lisa Peterson. La Jolla Playhouse and Berkeley Repertory Theater (2006) Critics Circle Awards

AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare, directed by Jonathan Moscone. California Shakespeare (2006)

FLOCK, with Joan Schirle and Skip Mercier. Dell Arte, CA (2005)

OEDIPUS THE KING by Sophocles, adapted by Ellen McLaughlin, directed by Lisa Peterson. Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis MS (2005)

ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL by William Shakespeare, directed by Lisa Peterson. California Shakespeare (2004)

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING by William Shakespeare, directed by Peter Dubois. California Shakespeare (2003)

A FEAST OF FOOLS, with Geoff Hoyle. Original score & performer. Marines Memorial Theater, San Francisco (2003) Premiered at La Jolla Playhouse (2002) Critics Circle Award

THE FOURTH SISTER by Jan Glowacki, directed by Lisa Peterson. Vineyard Theater, New York City (2002)

A WINTER’S TALE by William Shakespeare, directed by Lisa Peterson. California Shakespeare (2002)

HELEN by Ellen McLaughlin, directed by Tony Kushner. New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater (2002)

TWELFTH NIGHT by William Shakespeare, directed by Jonathan Moscone. California Shakespeare (2001)

CYMBELINE by William Shakespeare, directed by Daniel Fish. California Shakespeare (2001)

SOME-KIND-OF-WIND-IN-THE-WILLOWS, adapted from Kenneth Grahame by David Gordon. A.C.T. San Francisco (2000)

LOVE’S LABOURS LOST by William Shakespeare, directed by Lisa Peterson. California Shakespeare (2000) Critics Circle Award

TONGUE OF A BIRD by Ellen McLaughlin, directed by Lisa Peterson. New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater and Mark Taper Forum (1999). Premiered Intiman Theater Seattle, (1997)

ALICE: TALES OF A CURIOUS GIRL, adapted from Lewis Carroll by Karen Hartman, directed by Jonathan Moscone. Dallas Theater Center (1999)

A TALE WE TOLD THE QUEEN ON THE FOURTH DAY OF OUR JOURNEY FROM THE EAST, written and directed by Rinde Eckert. University of Iowa (1999)

THE IMAGINARY INVALID by Moliere, directed by Mark Rucker. Yale Repertory Theatre (1999)

SALT by Migdalia Cruz, directed by Loretta Greco. Actors Studio Free Theater, New York City (1998)

THE WEAVE, written and directed by Joan Schirle. Dell’Arte CA (1998)

THERESE RAQUIN, adapted by Neal Bell, directed by David Esbjornson. Soundscore with Rinde Eckert. Classic Stage Company, New York City (1998) Drama Desk Award nomination

GLASS MENAGERIE by Tennessee Williams, directed by Jonathan Moscone. Portland Stage Company (1997)

FIRMAMENT, written and directed by Joseph Chaikin. Soundscore with J.A.Deane. La Mama E.T.C., New York City (1995)

THE YELLOW KID (1995) by Brian Faker & Bliss Kolb, collaborative score with Doug Wieselman. Annex Theater, Seattle (1995)

IPHIGENIA & OTHER DAUGHTERS by Ellen McLaughlin, directed by David Esbjornson. Classic Stage Company, New York City (1995) and Chautauqua NY (1997)

ACT WITHOUT WORDS by Samuel Beckett, directed by Tony Taccone. Berkeley Repertory Theater, 1994

THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV by Paul Magid, directed by Daniel Sullivan. Collaborative score with Doug Wieselman. Seattle Repertory Theater & Arena Stage, D.C. (1993)

FEAR OF FALLING, written & directed by Dell’Arte. Humboldt State University (1991) Critics Circle Award

LEARNED LADIES by Moliere, directed by Richard Seyd Classic Stage Company, New York City (1991) and A.C.T., San Francisco (1993) Critics Circle Award

DON QUIXOTE DE LA JOLLA by Eric Overmeyer, directed by Stan Woyawodski. La Jolla Playhouse (1990)

SLAPSTICK, written & directed by Dell’Arte. Arhus International Theater Festival, Denmark (1989)

UTTERANCE IN THE FIRMAMENT, written and directed by Joseph Chaikin. San Francisco State University (1989)

MEASURE FOR MEASURE by William Shakespeare, directed by Richard E.T. White. Berkeley Shakespeare Festival (1989)

ANIMAL NATION, by Steve Friedman, with Dell’Arte, directed by Sam Woodhouse. San Diego Repertory Theater (1989)

UBU UNCHAINED, from Alfred Jarry, directed by Tony Taccone. Eureka Theater, San Francisco (1988)

CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens, directed by Michael Addison. San Diego Repertory Theater (1988)

ALMOST ASLEEP, written & directed by Julie Hebert. Intersection Theater for the Arts, San Francisco (1988)

RED NOSES by Peter Barnes, with Dell’Arte, directed by Sam Woodhouse. San Diego Repertory Theater (1988) Critics Circle Award

Dance/Performance:

UNCIVIL WARS: Moving with Brecht & Eisler. Based on Roundheads and Pointheads by Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler, edited, choreographed & directed by David Gordon. Arranger, music director, musician and actor. The Kitchen, New York City (2007); The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, & Peak Performances, Montclair NJ (2009)

VELVETEEN RABBIT, for Oberlin Dance Collective/San Francisco. Songs for evening-length ballet, premiered at Kennedy Center (1996)

ALLIGATOR TALES, by Anne Galjour (1990)

DIED SUDDENLY, score for the 1989 Cocteau Centenary, with Deborah Slater & Julie Hebert, commissioned by the Los Angeles City Arts Council & Severin Wunderin Museum (1989)

SLEEP TIGHT, musical score (with Doug Wieselman) for Laughing Moon Theater, Seattle (1989)

Radio:

ALMOST ASLEEP, soundscore for the radio play by Julie Hebert, commissioned by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art (1989)

SELECTED TEACHING EXPERIENCE

Arts, Letters & Numbers, The Mill, Averill Park NY (2013)

Colgate University, Hamilton NY (2012)

92nd St.Y Teaching Artist, New York City (2008-2009)

Fordham University/Lincoln Center, New York City (2008)

Long Island University/Brooklyn – Music for Dance (1998-2001) and Honours Elective course (2001)

New York University – concert lecture on Bertolt Brecht (2000)

University of Iowa – Artist-in-Residence, Theater Department (1999)

Tada, New York City – after-school musical theater program (1996-98)

Taught numerous workshops on developing ensemble and singing skills in regional theaters and University theater departments around the country, including Fordham, New York City; Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis; California Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley; La Jolla Playhouse and University of Southern California; San Francisco State University etc.

RESIDENCIES, GRANTS & AWARDS

Composer in Residence, Akrai Residency Program, Palazzolo Acreide, Sicily, Italy (2014)

Artist-in-Residence, Arts, Letters & Numbers, The Mill, Averill Park NY (2013)

Artist-in-Residence, Colgate University, Hamilton NY (2012)

Composer-in residence, Lucas Artists Program @ Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga CA (2009, 2010)

Numerous grants from; Meet The Composer, Arts International, Chamber Music America, Lila Wallace Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Doris Duke Foundation, American Music Center, California Arts Council etc

Drama Desk nominations (2011 & 1998), Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Awards (2006, 2000, 1993, 1991), San Diego Theater Critics Circle Award (2006, 2002, 1988), Dean Goodman Award (2001); Earphones Awards for audio-book narrations

PERSONAL HISTORY

Born to a British diplomat father and American mother, raised around the world (London, Washington, Teheran, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Seoul).
Trans-Africa journey (South Africa to Ethiopia), 3 months, 1972.
Two climbing trips to the Himalayas: Nepal, 1980; Bhutan, 1989.
Founding member of The Old-Time New-Age Chautauqua, an all-volunteer group of vaudevillians, musicians & teachers, who spend 3-4 weeks every summer giving free performances & workshops in the remoter parts of the USA.
Literary Editor of EMI Records, London, 1973-1975.

Foreign languages: French, Spanish, German.

Other skills: ex-juggler, tap-dancer, actor and award-winning audiobook narrator.