Leila Adu-Gilmore is a composer-performer who has released five solo albums, as well as composed for So Percussion, Useful Chamber, Gamelan Padhang Moncar, the Brentano String Quartet and K.A.T.E.S. She has performed her compositions internationally at Ojai Festival (2016) and as Orchestra Wellington’s Emerging-Composer-in-Residence (2014). Dr Adu-Gilmore composes and produces for dance, theatre and short film, including rotations on the BBC Knowledge and Fox networks. Dr Adu-Gilmore has taught techniques of listening at undergraduate level, and taught to incarcerated men at Sing Sing Correctional Facility as a faculty member of Musicambia (Music as Social Change in Incarcerated Communities).
A "Cosmopolitan Composer" (The Listener magazine), Dr Adu-Gilmore's compositions are notable for the way she "constantly challenges your senses with broken rhythms and unexpected tempo and mood" (Radio NZ). Of New Zealand Pākehā and Ghanaian descent and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand, with family in London, Dr Adu-Gilmore is passionate about the role of music in social change, mental well-being and human connection, and seeks out collaborations wherever she travels. She has worked with musicians across multiple genres including Steve Albini, Kwame Write, GAIKA (Warp Records), Silent Poets, Useful Chamber, Federico Ughi, Jeff Snyder, David Long (The Mutton Birds, Lord of the Rings), Jeff Henderson, Lord Echo, Hannah Marshall, Steve Beresford & Jack Body.
Dr Adu-Gilmore received her doctorate of music in composition from Princeton University in 2017 and her Bachelor of Music (Honours) from Victoria University of Wellington (NZ) in 2003. In 2015, an article of Adu-Gilmore’s research, “Studio Improv as Compositional Process in Ghanaian Hiplife and Afrobeats” was published in the Critical Studies in Improvisation, peer-reviewed journal. She has presented her research in conferences at Zhejiang Conservatory (China), Huddersfield University (UK), the Webstock tech conference (NZ) as well as École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, France) and the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM, France).