Who is she...
Activist - Committed to Human Rights
Lea's conviction to human rights is unbendable. She gives of herself with unyielding grace and comittment.
- Rev. Dr. Ira Zepp, author
Lea Gilmore is a blues, gospel and jazz singing civic activist who has lent her voice, literally and
figuratively, to advocacy for the underserved of the world and made a huge difference.
A former deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and Program Director for
the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, in addition Gilmore has testified before local, state
and federal commissions on issues ranging from immigration laws to the civil rights and liberties of
women of color. Appointed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, she served for several years as
a member of the Maryland Advisory Board to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Lea is
presently the Director of Network Coordination for the Moving Maryland Forward Network
A graduate of Morgan State University with a degree in political science and a member of the Pi
Gamma Mu International Honor Society for the Social Sciences, Gilmore also sang in the school's
much-heralded choir, under the direction of the late Dr. Nathan Carter.
Gilmore is a highly sought after lecturer who frequently speaks on the history of African American
music; civil and human rights; and women’s rights, in addition to their historical and contemporary
roles in blues and gospel music.
MUSICIAN - Venues where Lea has performed
"One of the most inspiring and incredible voices I have ever heard...
Lea is a multi award winning classically trained pianist, a Blues, gospel, folk and jazz singer who has
appeared in over 45 musical and dramatic theater productions.
Most recently, Lea traveled to Novosvibirsk, Siberia to share her voice and give workshops to
enthralled audiences across Siberia.
Over the past thirteen years, Gilmore has lent her voice to support the cause of ridding third world
countries in Africa of leprosy and TB by headlining Gospel concerts in Europe, sponsored by the
Damien Foundation, a Belgium-based nonprofit, while maintaining a vast career as an international
blues and jazz performer. Over 300,000 have attended Lea's concerts in Belgium alone.
She has recorded two acclaimed Gospel recordings -- Gospels for Damian "Let Your Light Shine" and
"Somehow I Made It," and the newest "In the Sanctuary," selling thousands of CDs on behalf of the
In 2004, she recorded her first acclaimed Blues CD, "I Don't Know Where You Are." She has been a
guest artist on several CDs and is recording a new CD Fall 2010.
Gilmore is a past winner of The Blues Foundation "Keeping the Blues Alive" W.C. Handy Award for
her web site celebrating women of the blues "It's A Girl Thang" created with Paul Fenton.
Lea has been the Guest Artist for The International School of Switzerland's celebration of Black
History Month. In addition, Lea was invited by the US Embassy of France and the US State
Department to tour France presenting lectures and concerts focusing on the history of African-
American music, racial dialog and human rights. Lea was one of the inaugural instructors for Song
and Vocal Week at The Summers Schools at Glaisnock (Cumnock, Scotland), teaching Gospel and
Blues Singing, Vocal Technique, and Gospel Choir.
Age has lectured and performed at the International School of Brussels and American School of
Paris, as well has been a guest lecturer/scholar on Women and the Blues Scholar at the University of
Lea performed the first ever Gospel concert at the Royal Chapel in Dreux, France during the
International Gospel and Spirituals Festival in Chartre, France
Gilmore is a former board member and still active participant of Common Ground on the Hill, an arts
and culture diversity camp held at McDaniel College in Carroll County, Maryland, and The Blues
Lea partners with Center Stage Theatre in Kilmarnock, Scotland (NGO) for Umoja Musica and Umoja
Gaelica, a cultural exchange to promote peace and justice; and to give the gift of music to the
underserved of the world.
Lea has served on the Board of Trustees for the Public Justice Center, The Creative Alliance of
Maryland, and the ACLU of Maryland. She currently serves on the Board of the Greater Baltimore
Lea is married to David Gilmore. They are the parents of two sons (Jonathan and Gabriel) and
reside in Maryland.
|Lea chosen and featured in
as one of
" 25 Women Shaping the
The ESSENCE October 2005 Power Issue—an
annual collector’s edition issue for the past
several years— inspires millions with features of
extraordinary women in business, politics,
media and the arts, who reveal truths and
chronicle their pathways to success. This year it’
s a phenomenal group of activists who are
putting themselves on the line to change the