Jennifer Gillmor

Holding the bottom end for MANifesto

Another great video from my erstwhile bandmate Kelly Clipperton‘s vocal group MANifesto. I had the pleasure of providing a bass guitar track for their cover of Stay With Me. Click on the photo to watch the video. Enjoy!

Coming back to music after a year of rehab

On March 13, 2021, almost a year ago, I suffered from a large intraparenchymal hemorrhage in my brain. When I read this in my medical records, unsurprisingly, I needed to look it up. I learned that this kind of stroke, caused by a congenital issue in my brain, was “more likely to result in death or major disability and therefore constitutes an immediate medical emergency”. I feel so very fortunate to have made an almost complete recovery (and I plan to make it 100% in the near future!). But it hasn’t come easily. I’ve been working very hard at it.

My right hand was robbed of its strength and sensitivity such that I couldn’t hold a toothbrush and had to write with my non-dominant hand. So I’m happy to announce that I’m back to playing the bass with my new jazzy-funk band Tricky Zipper, and, more recently, have begun recording a cello part on a song for the third album by my dear friend David Ritchie. After a summer of barely being able to play a scale in tune without dropping the bow, I have finally begun to enjoy playing music again! Thank my lucky stars!

I’m back to continuing work of my Canada Council-funded project, Dual Citizen, exploring my sense of belonging both to urban environments and to more natural landscapes. I’ve decided that it just going to take as long as it takes. This is the first time I will be combining my love of photography with music. It a rather epic endeavour and I look forward to sharing it — in time!

The last recording gig I had before this crisis, was playing bass for the track Don’t Walk Away on the album Pinky Swear by the Toronto-based vocal group Manifesto. This album was made with creative tenacity during lockdown. At last, I my work has made it to vinyl — PINK, no less! Check out the album on Bandcamp.

What the world needs right now is the joyfulness that Kelly Clipperton and his fab group are bringing the world. I’m very happy to be part of that!

New Monthly Yoga Event

I brought my most heart-soothing, grounding sounds to longtime yoga teacher Susan Anthony‘s Subconscious Streams Restorative Yoga & Soundscapes series on September 6. It was a truly beautiful, delicious experience and I’m  looking forward to the next edition of this new collaboration on October 4, again at beautiful Yoga Village in Toronto. I have known Susan for many years both as a massage client and Thai massage workshop participant and always enjoy her good vibes.

We are maxing at 8 participants to keep ample personal space in the large and beautiful studio at Yoga Village, 240 Roncesvalles Avenue. If you want to be one of the intimate group for this special experience, email Susan at It’s certainly the perfect time for some deep relaxation and grounding! 

$30 e-transfer to Susan to claim your spot.


Susan is currently guiding Bliss Yoga classes at the Yoga Village. Bliss Yoga is a culmination and integration of over 20 years of training, practice and educating ages 3 years to over 50! Susan’s certified trainings include Interdisciplinary Yoga at the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica, White Belt NIA training with Martha Randall, and Restorative Yoga training with Scott Davis as well as workshops in Thai Yoga Massage, medicinal use of essential oils and Qi Gong. Susan accredits Alison Crouch of Boomerang Pilates for the somatic learning of anatomy and the ability to really listen to the body even if you can’t name all its parts. Susan continues to gather knowledge through ongoing practise of Yoga, Qi Gong, NIA; Moving to Heal, the Groove, and Mindfulness, and wishes to impart the wisdom that movement, food and rest are the 3 pillars of health and wellness at any age.

Subconscious Streams Restorative Yoga & Soundscapes

Many pots on the stove

While COVID-19 has taken me out of the public realm with my music until very recently, I have been quite busy with my fingers in a few musical pies. I thought I’d pop in with a little check-in. I have been delving in to further development with my solo music-photo project, Dual Citizen. The 12 new pieces I composed and recorded sketches for at Artscape Gibraltar Point (thank you Canada Council for the Arts!), are being honed and finessed. I’ve been listening to the tracks and making decisions as to what further improvements can be made from the sketches and have recorded new versions mostly of cello tracks. I’ve also been busy creating the visual aspect of this celebration of the two environments I divide my living into — urban and natural spaces.

Several years ago, I befriended Peter Morrison, the owner of Easy Restaurant, one of the premier brunch spots in Toronto. He is a drummer and we’ve been talking for years about jamming. I’m so excited we finally got together to realize how wonderfully matched we are as a rhythm section with me on bass guitar! So, along with keyboardist Jerome McPeek, we have a new jazzy-funk trio called Tricky Zipper. It’s so cool to rehearse right in the restaurant with the big red streetcars slowly rolling by and friends and neighbourhood locals diggin’ our grooves from the windows. We envision our first gigs being a monthly salon at Easy where we invite all our friends to chillax with a bevvie and maybe even dance with some groovy tunes!

We’re official! These extras came in Pete’s recent order for Easy Restaurant t-shirts.

I’ve had a sweet spate of opportunities to play music for yoga classes. I love supporting people’s yoga experience with my intentional, intuitive sounds. The latest is slated to be a monthly event — Subconscious Streams Restorative Yoga and Soundscapes with teacher Susan Anthony. Next edition: Sunday, October 4th at Yoga Village on Roncesvalles in Toronto.

It’s also been back into the dance community with Kathleen Rea‘s Propinquity, a creative movement event in Toronto’s splendid High Park with imaginative props to help dancers to maintain social distance during the pandemic. It’s been sad for me that Synergy Dance Lab is on hold due to the pandemic.

I have a few new instruments to add to my ever increasingly vast sonic palette! Thanks to the generosity of my dear father, I took have a brand new alto flute. I’m thrilled! Flute was my first instrument. I had classical training from 9 to about 14. Since then, I found myself gravitating toward lower frequencies, taking up bass guitar, cello and didgeridoo. I even chose the bass version of the kora — the kamel n’goni. So now I even have a flute that speaks that same velvety language of the low end!

I recently purchased an NS Design 5-string electric cello. It serves a few purposes: more convenient air travel and visits to places inhospitable to an acoustic cello, and for exploring sounds with my bass multi-effects processor. Without any acoustic sound, the manipulated tones can be really otherworldly!

The newest member of my musical family: alto flute!

My father Alan wrote a book about the early 20th-century French composer Erik Satie. So this was a special moment, playing the famous Gymnopedie No. 1 with him on my new alto flute! This is the piano he learned to play on that his parents owned since the 1920s. His Scottish mother used to bang out Presbyterian hymns on it. It needs a tuning, but still gives us pleasure. I just learned that his Irish father used to play the Baritone Horn (smaller cousin of the tuba) in the town band of Fort Frances, Ontario, up in Northern Ontario. So I guess I can say that music was truly bred into me!

Posted by Jennifer Gillmor on Tuesday, August 11, 2020
My father Alan Gillmor wrote a book about the early 20th-century French composer Erik Satie. So this was a special moment, playing the famous Gymnopedie No. 1 with him on my new alto flute! This is the piano he learned to play on that his parents owned since the 1920s. His Scottish mother used to bang out Presbyterian hymns on it. It needs a tuning, but still gives us pleasure. I just learned that his Irish father used to play the Baritone Horn (smaller cousin of the tuba) in the town band of Fort Frances, Ontario, up in Northern Ontario. So I guess I can say that music was truly bred into me!
With Kasia (Seva Akal Kaur) for Buddha On Fire, charity yoga event, proceeds to fund education in a Nairobi slum.

Adding my voice to The Spark

I am delighted to have been part of the People’s Chorus, singing backing vox for the Toronto band, The Special Interest Group. Fronted by Rebecca Campbell, it was not only an honour to sing with her, a musical influence since my youth, but also on a great song by my longtime heroine Patti Smith! Check out the track People Have The Power, and well as Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream, written by Ed McCurdy, and first release by Pete Seeger in 1956. For that matter, buy the whole album on Bandcamp!

the SPECIAL INTEREST group brings a new rhythm to songs of hope & struggle ….
Infusing songs from the civil rights, labour and protest movements with elements of folk, blues, rock, R&B, jazz, reggae & ska.

Playing for Ontario Regional Contact Jam … AGAIN!

I am so delighted to have established myself as a musical mainstay in the Contact Improv dance community. On Saturday, April 4 (10:40-midnight). I’ll be bringing a range of instruments and digital tools to create a varied soundscape for dancers to explore movement in the beautiful big studio at the National Ballet of Canada‘s gorgeous building on Jarvis Street in Toronto. More info here.

Bassist for new jazzy-funk band “Tricky Zipper”!

I’m super excited to announce that I have joined up with some Parkdale (west-end Toronto) neighbourhood folks to drive the groove train with my bass. It’s been a long while since I’ve played just bass in a funky band with a drummer. I’m delighted to be playing with Peter Morrison (drums) and keyboardist Jerome McPeek. We have played a bit with Ian Lazarus on sax and Brendan on trumpet and hope that might become a regular thing. Peter owns the one and only Easy Restaurant at Queen St W & Roncesvalles — one of the best brunch spots in town and a convenient and groovy rehearsal space by night!

Lullaby Project recordings in the can

It sure was fun to be in the studio with a pack of top-notch musicians for The Lullaby Project. The house band comprised Adam Warner (percussion), Christine Bougie (guitar), Cathy Nosaty (keys) and myself on bass. The finished tracks can be listened to on Soundcloud I look forward to the performance of these songs in the spring. Details TBA.

What is The Lullaby Project? 

The Lullaby Project originally begin in New York City, and was started by the Weill Music Institute (WMI) at Carnegie Hall. Now there are 37 Lullaby Project partner organizations around the world, working together to write lullabies and help parents bond with their babies. 

 The Lullaby Project pairs mothers with songwriters to help them create a personalized lullaby.  The participants are offered a creative opportunity to communicate feelings, hopes, and dreams as they look to the future with their child. Creating and singing lullabies encourages parent-child bonding and helps with early child development. The lullaby creates something special between mother and child that will last a lifetime.

The Toronto Partner – Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women

Jessie’s, located at Queen and Parliament streets in downtown Toronto, supports young mothers and expectant mothers. The centre offers daycare, counselling, career assistance, meals, a respite program, a TDSB-connected high school, and more. Jessie’s serves young mothers 19 years of age and under, and all services are completely free of charge.

Most of the mothers we work with are enrolled in school at Jessie’s Centre. Their teacher gives them high school credits for their participation, and they’re able to work on their lullabies during class time.

Bassist for The Lullaby Project

I’m delighted to be involved in this wonderful initiative. The Lullaby Project, a program of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute (WMI) pairs pregnant women and new mothers with songwriters to write, record, and perform a personal lullaby. These lullabies cover a wide range of musical genres and styles, and encapsulate participants’ personal experiences with motherhood – featuring lyrics and melodies full of raw emotion, vulnerability, and love. The Lullaby Project currently takes place at Jessie’s – The June Callwood Centre for Young Women.

I will be playing bass and possibly a bit of cello and flute. Stay tuned for details about the performance slated to happen in May 2020.

Jennis Album Launches Announced

We are set with our plans for the Guelph and Toronto launch parties for our new album “The Mirror”! We have a special show in preparation for Friday, October 4 at the Heritage Hall in Guelph and at Toronto’s Burdock Music Hall on Sunday, October 6 (6-8pm matinée). We’ll have guest back-up vocalists Shannon Kingsbury and Tannis Slimmon (aka the collective “Shannis”) at the Guelph show, singing with Jennis as well as a few of their own songs. Drummer Tom Wolf will help us rock things up at both launches, along with his daughter Laurin and her partner Jason Maraschiello. They will be rocking some traditional African rhythms to get your booty shaking!

We’re super proud of it and feel we have far surpassed the quality of the first record with much higher production values and songs that had time to distill to their best form before capturing them in the studio.

We have a music video almost ready to premiere for the song “Sneak Past The Mirror”. We can hardly wait to share it with you all! Thanks to all our wonderful friends who took part in the filming and, especially, to videographer Olya Glotka for her fantastic work! 

Synergy Dance Lab: New Monthly Creative Movement Jam & Performance Night

As a veteran and key musical element of the contact improv and ecstatic dance scene in Toronto, I have found a beloved musical niche within which to indulge my multi-instrumentalism. I have been encouraged to make more opportunities to dialogue with dancers. So here it is! 7-8:15pm the 1st Monday of each month, I will host an open creative movement jam (not exclusively contact dance) with my live music offerings. 8:20-9pm the studio will be open to the public to enjoy watching as various groupings of dancers (including solo) will improvise performances with me at the musical helm. One dancer (or duo) will the scheduled feature each month while other dancers from the jam are encouraged to take the stage for this low-pressure, supportive performance opportunity.

This new event invites all movement lovers to explore freely with my many musical voices on the sprung laminate flooring of this beautiful, accessible space near King and Bathurst.
No experience necessary. All levels of experience welcome. Performing is NOT obligatory.

1st Monday of each month, beginning September 2019
7-8:15pm open contact / creative movement jam • 8:20-9pm improvised performances • $12
Array Space • 155 Walnut Avenue, Toronto • 416.532.3019

Contact Dance International Film Festival

I’m endlessly grateful to have developed such a niche pairing for my musicality. Dialoguing with dancers is one of my favourite creative experiences. Thank you Kathleen Rea for the opportunity to play in that huge studio at humungous National Ballet Studio for the Contact Dance International Film Festival. While I’m still high from that thrilling ride, I’ll be playing the Wednesday Night Contact Jam tomorrow night, July the 3rd.

I am the “ghost cellist” for the House of Mirrors at the Luminato Festival

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be donning a wild costume and improvising on cello and voice at the House of Mirrors, installed outdoors at Harbourfront in Toronto. I’ll be playing between 8pm and 11pm Friday, June 14 and Thursday, June 21. Many thanks to Luminato Artistic Director Naomi Campbell!

Don’t miss the North American premiere of House of Mirrors, an optical adventure for all ages, where nothing is quite what it seems and getting out is an art. House of Mirrors is a reality-bending, sensory-altering, mind-dizzying experience that has enchanted audiences across the southern hemisphere. Sitting at over 12.5ft and weighing in at over 55 tonnes, this reflective wonder makes its North American debut, taking Toronto by storm, simultaneously mesmerizing, disorienting and delighting Luminato audiences. Optical illusions meet vanity in this house-sized kaleidoscope where reflections are fragmented: shadow, ghost, stranger, or is it just you? Nothing is what it seems as you stumble around thousands of bewildering reflections.

Ghost Cellist
Playing at the Luminato Festival house of mirrors as The Ghost Cellist, Toronto, 2019

Residency complete

Thanks in part to the Canada Council Explore and Create program, I have completed my 3-month residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island and have composed 12 new pieces. The next part of the plan is to hone my performance for each composition to prepare for recording my second solo album. Once the album recording is complete, it will be time to put together the solo performance. This will also comprise a visual component, which hearkens back to a previous creative chapter of my life. I have finally fully embraced digital photography (and video) after having abandoned a longstanding professional involvement with film photography when the digital age took flight.

The theme pertains to my identity as a dual citizen of both the urban and rural setting — neither a city mouse nor a country mouse, but a lover of elements of each. What more perfect place to soak in both dynamic energies than this beautiful beach off the south edge of Canada’s largest city!

Enjoying the view at my temporary “back yard” close to my Artscape Gibraltar Point studio.