Composer and multi-instrumentalist Gina Leishman was born in England, studied music at the Vienna Conservatory and Edinburgh University (B.Mus.Hons.), and made her home in the U.S., first on the west coast and since the early ‘90s in New York City. She has written for theater, opera, dance, film, TV and the concert stage.
She is co-founder of the septet Kamikaze Ground Crew. Together for over 30 years, their recordings, on New World, Koch Jazz and Busmeat Records, include Postcards from the Highwire (2007), Covers (2000), Madam Marie’s Temple of Knowledge (1993) and The Scenic Route (1990). Performances include San Francisco Jazz Festival, Earshot Jazz Festival (Seattle), Frankfurt Jazz Festival and Donaueschingen New Music Festival (Germany), Vossa Jazz Festival (Norway), Merkin Hall and Joe’s Pub (New York), as well as occasional gigs in and around downtown New York and Brooklyn.
She also co-leads the Mr. Wau-Wa band, a quintet dedicated to the songs of Bertolt Brecht, for which she is the chief arranger and lead singer. Her work as a singer/songwriter includes Geography (2018), Baseless Rumors (2011), In My Skin (2007) and Bed Time (2004), all explorations of the Leishman Songbook.
She performs and records with infrequent regularity as a solo artist, and in various and sundry downtown projects, including as guest vocalist with Steven Bernstein’s Millenial Territory Orchestra and guest instrumentalist with Peter Apfelbaum’s Hieroglyphics Ensemble