Gina Leishman

Composer, Multi-instrumentalist, and Singer

October 10th, New York

One never knows, does one? (as Billie Holiday so aptly sang…) On to the next chapter, with my crown only half-way decorated…

Instead of the Kamikaze gig at Roulette being a celebration of Half Way Through Chemo, it turns out it was a celebration of No More Chemo… surprise surprise! It seems that after all the tests, done as a result of the blip after treatment #6, the cardiologist told the oncologist to “cease and desist” – my poor ol’ heart can’t take it, and is in a bit of a sorry state… so no more poison – yay! well, there will be 5 years of pills, starting in a month’s time – we’ll see if I can tolerate those… but no more Herceptin for sure, which is the one that was going to go through next August – so I am suddenly much more mobile and relatively poison-free… we just hope that my little ticker will mend itself (with the help of a bunch of nasty drugs, of course) so that I don’t have surgery in 6 months… I will do everything in my power to make it so… and meanwhile I have sewn the rest of the jewels onto the crown, just because… it’s fabulous… as is the wig that I unveiled at the KGC gig – electric blue Louise Brooks, now that’s how to become a member of the blue hair brigade…

The gig was wonderful, tho’ it damn nearly killed me – I was a total basket case afterwards, but it was so worth it, and the guys took such good care of me…
Roulette is a really great space to play in (with a beautiful 9′ Steinway), great acoustics, great audience, and we rocked it all, new and old tunes alike… I’m happy with my new piece – In The Lap Of The Gods – with just 2 short rehearsals, it came together at the gig, which is always satisfying… and we dug back into the archives to dust off things from the ‘80s and ‘90s, always fun…

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time up in Nyack recently – Rinde and Ellen are both gone for months so I have the run of their beautiful home whenever I want – it’s so peaceful up there compared to the city, plus we’ve been having the most glorious weather recently, perfect Indian summer… morning birds, evening crickets, deep blue sky, hot sun, cool breeze – very californian…

Two musical treats this w/end – Dudamel and the Venezuelans (aka the Simon Bolivar Orchestra) blew the roof off Carnegie Hall with their rendition of Messiaen’s Turangalila – they treated that crazy, massive piece the same effortless, but passionate, way Marcus treats his tuba like a harmonica – and then Bill Frisell at the Blue Note with his surf band – Greg Lees, Tony & Kenny – so much delight… and next week I get to hear Simon Rattle conduct Tristan at the Met…

Meanwhile this week I hope to start mixing the recording I started back in March – time to get back to work – it may not be gainful employment but it gives purpose to my life… much to be thankful for, particularly all the wonderful friends who have been by my side these past months – where would I be without you? thank you thank you thank you….

We will not talk about the continuing political circus – it beggars belief… as my friend Marika so aptly said recently, on the night of Nov.8th “hopefully we will all just exhale a sigh of relief together as we usher in the maintenance of the oppressive, systematic, racist, imperialist status quo, rather than global anarchy. Oy.”