Kamikaze Ground Crew began in 1983 as a backup band for the Flying Karamazov Brothers, filtering its music through the eclectic new-music ethos of the 1980s. The group developed through larger theatrical productions and emerged with a life of its own, becoming a vehicle for new compositions and arrangements as an abstract circus band. The ensemble is horn driven, utilizing three woodwinds, brass and drums, along with the occasional keyboard, ukulele, or electric guitar, as well as voice. Originally based in California, the group has maintained its current configuration since relocating to New York in the late 1990s. The performance will draw from over 30 years of repertoire with the addition of some new compositions and arrangements.
Co-leader, composer, and arranger Gina Leishman is recognized as a composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer, splitting her time between writing and performing, both with her various ensembles and in the theater. As a composer, she has written for opera, theater, dance, TV and film, and has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards. Collaborations include directors Karin Coonrod, Robert Woodruff, Lisa Peterson and Joseph Chaikin; writers Ellen McLaughlin, Tony Kushner and Naomi Wallace; choreographers David Gordon, Bebe Miller and Deborah Slater; and performance artists Rinde Eckert and John Kelly. She has released numerous recordings as co-leader of Kamikaze Ground Crew, as well as her solo projects which feature her compositions and songs.
Doug Wieselman has played with a variety of artists in different fields including John Lurie, Antony and the Johnsons, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, CocoRosie, Martha Wainwright, Anthony Coleman, Jerome Robbins and Robert Wilson. He has co-led Kamikaze Ground Crew for over 30 years and has released a solo clarinet record based on melodies from bodies of water.
Gina Leishman – piano, accordion, alto and bari sax, voice co-leader, composer/arranger
Doug Wieselman – clarinets, tenor and bari sax, co-leader, composer/arranger
Steven Bernstein – trumpet, slide trumpet, composer/arranger
Peter Apfelbaum – tenor sax, clarinet
Art Baron – trombone
Marcus Rojas – tuba
- Kenny Wollesen – drums