LOUISE GIBBS is a jazz vocalist, composer/arranger, educator and writer. She continues to negotiate the three-way pull between being a musician, a teacher and researcher for her more than 30 years of professional life. Since her return to freelance employment in August 2011 (from being Associate Professor, Course Leader for the Postgraduate Programme, and then the Jazz Programme at Leeds College of Music, and Director of the Leeds International Jazz Conference) her career has rebalanced to prioritise making music, writing music, and writing about music.
Louise has five critically acclaimed albums to her name Invitation (1998) with Lynne Arriale, Ron McClure & Steve Davis; Love You Madly (1999) with Tony Coe & Brian Priestley; More Questions Than Answers (2005) with Jonathan Gee, Jeremy Brown, Winston Clifford & Renato D’Aiello; Everybody’s Song But Our Own (2008) with the celebrated pianist, Kirk Lightsey; and her self penned suite (text and music), Seven Deadly Sings (2014) performed with Tony Kofi, Tim Whitehead, Quentin Collins, Tom White, Sam Leak, Oli Hayhurst, and Sam Gardner. She continues to perform and record with top UK and US musicians. It has been said of her bebop-inspired style: She can turn a hackneyed jazz standard into a newly-imagined composition…and takes musical risks…as expressive as any horn player whether the tune’s by Kenny Wheeler or Rodgers & Hart.
Born in New Zealand and educated at Conservatorium of Music, Auckland University, and Columbia University, New York (MA Music 1983; MEd Music Education 1984) Louise brings a wealth of experience to teaching voice, jazz performance, improvisation and musicianship. She has taught, lectured, or given workshops at all levels and at every major conservatoire and university music department offering performance in the UK. Until her move from London to Leeds in 2004 she led the Music Programme of the Professional and Continuing Education Department at Goldsmiths, University of London and taught voice, and Musical Aesthetics in the Music Department 1988-2004. She was a Visiting Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama 1988-2000 and was External Examiner for the Degree Programme 2001-2006 and Licentiate (LRAM) professional qualification at the Royal Academy of Music 2009-2013.
Her musical practice and teaching is supported by ongoing research and academic writing on the subjects of improvisation, jazz voice, aesthetics and professional education. She occasionally reviews for Jazz Journal.