Music is my greatest joy, my therapist and longest-standing passion. Engaging in improvisation is often a transcendental experience. It is my favourite form of meditation and means of bringing people together to have joyful, meaningful, and sometimes cathartic creative experiences. It is through music that I feel I can offer most to the world. I aim to give back to others the supreme emotional and spiritual highs that music has given me. I seek to re-express beauty, truth and universal experience (positive as well as challenging) through sound. I aim to elevate, stimulate, entertain and alleviate.
Jen Gillmor is a Canadian-American dual citizen based in Toronto, Canada. Member of The American Federation of Musicians Local 226: The Central Ontario Musicians’ Association.
Jennifer’s musical exploration has covered rich and varied territory. She is a multi-instrumentalist with a musical family that includes bass guitar, cello, kamel n’goni, didgeridoo, found and made objects, flutes, various percussion, berimbau, musical saw, jaw harp, and sample-based sequencing. She has performed and recorded in projects ranging from funk to folk, rock to reggae, music influenced by traditions of African and Celtic cultures as well as experimental projects that can draw few comparisons.
Jennifer has composed and recorded for film, video, dance, theatre and multimedia projects. She has toured internationally and appeared in nationally broadcast music videos and on various local and national television and radio shows.
In the 2011, Jennifer spent six months on a retreat from Toronto in a cabin outside of Smithers, BC where she focused on exploring her musicianship with many instruments and recording gear. The resulting debut solo album, High Road Haven, is available now through Bandcamp and iTunes.
A second solo album project will commence with a composing residency set at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island for the winter of 2019.
Jen’s current performance focus is Jennis, a duo with Dennis Gaumond whose debut album The Current was released in May 2014. She has either recorded, performed and/or toured with: Gary Diggins, Errol Starr Francis, David Hickey, Anna Gutmanis, DubTonic, Rachelle Van Zanten, Los Gringos Salvajes, Peter J Slack, The Bhadra Collective, Triund, Random Order, Brazen Crush, Dreamfire, Kelly and the Kellygirls, Roach Motel, Amer Diab, Yala (with Jamie Stone & Morgan Doctor), Evalyn Parry, celtic fiddler Eric Nagler, The Wetspots, Pam Gerrand, Tucker Finn, Lyndell Montgomery, Dropdeadbeats, The Matriphiles, Roma (with Michelle Josef, Marg Stowe & Wally Jericho), Women Ah Run Tings, Myk Gordon, Tamara Williamson, The Kitchen Sink Project, Meryn Cadell, Snowdogs, Amy Fritz and The Nancy Sinatras.
A member of AIM Toronto (association of improvising musicians toronto) Jen is an avid improviser who has performed as part of Toronto’s longstanding Ambient Ping, provided live music for Tribal Dance Community, Martha Randall’s NIA classes and other events with Gary Diggins. She creates soundscapes regularly for Kathleen Rea‘s Contact Dance Jams and has also enjoyed DJing ecstatic dance events such as Toronto’s weekly The Move and Boogie Groove. Jen has provided musical accompaniment on many occasions for Fireflow Yoga Studio and for Bibi Rahim-Hahn‘s Flow Yoga class at Yogaspace in Toronto.
Coming back to the theatre after all those years since majoring in Drama at UofT, Jen created the sound design and music for Wild Dogs, a Nightwood Theatre production directed by Kelly Thornton, October 2008. Live and recorded sound design was created for Obaberima written and performed by Tawiah M’carthy and directed by Evalyn Parry, June 2010.
In 2012, Jen created live and recorded sound design for Northern Lights and They Told Me To Tell You, workshop productions by the Baba Yaga Ensemble as well as music for a new dance film Calling Out The Bones, choreographed and directed by Genevieve Nolet.
Jen was sound designer for the play HER2, written by Maja Ardal and directed by Kim Blackwell for Nightwood Theatre in January 2015. This production contained numerous group creative movement segments which all required lengthy music cues.