Lea Gilmore

Lea Gilmore


Lea Gilmore is a blues, gospel and jazz singing civic activist. a recipient of the Blues Foundation’s W. C. Handy Award: Keeping the Blues Alive and was named as one of 25 “Women Shaping the World” by Essence Magazine. She was featured in the October 2005 Leadership' issue


Did you know:

In a performance honoring Muhammed Ali, "The Champ" was so moved by Lea's singing of his song
"The Greatest Love of All" that he made an effort to walk across the stage, grab her saying "you are amazing...thank you so much...never stop doing what you do" It was a magic moment.

Lea has appeared in over 45 musical theater productions including: Dreamgirls, Purlie, Raison, Little Shop of Horrors, Ain't Misbehavin', and more.

Lea is a committed social activist and has dedicated her professional career to working for justice and equality for all. She has been the Deputy Director for the ACLU of Maryland, has fought for reproductive justice for women of color, with a focus on Indigenous women; and has given keynote speeches around the world on human, civil and women's rights. Lea now serves on the Board of Directors of The ACLU of MD, The Public Justice Center and The Creative Alliance of Maryland.

Over the past seven years, Lea 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," selling thousands of CDs on behalf of the cause. Lea made a life-changing trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Africa with the Damien Foundation filming a documentary, visiting the sick and impoverished, and performing a Gospel concert where 200 were expected and over 1000 showed up ending in the audience enthusiastically singing “Oh Happy Day!”

Recognized for her commitment to social justice and the reach of her music and activism, in 2005 Lea was chosen by internationally acclaimed ESSENCE MAGAZINE as one of “25 Women Shaping the World” and was prominently featured in their “Leadership” issue.

Lea has performed, lead workshops, lectured in France, The UK, The Netherlands, Swizterland, Luxembourg, Belgium, and beyond to churches in small villages to sell out audiences in stadiums leading a 2000 voice choir.

At the age of 11 and teaching herself to play piano “by ear,” her talent was recognized by the Peobody Conservatory Preperatory program who chose her to receive a full scholarship to study classical piano. Lea also learned to play the clarinet, melody bells, flute, but continues to get stumped by the guitar – go figure.

Lea is a trivia buff. She is a devoted reader of “Mental Floss” magazine and reads the encyclopedia for fun – for real!

Lea was voted “Most Outstanding Graduating Senior” by her classmates during her senior year at Mercy High School in Baltimore.

Married at 18 years old to David Gilmore, Lea is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year and is still claiming sanity. She is also the proud mom of two sons, Jonathan (24) and Gabriel (17) Gilmore.


Four CDs issued in the United States and Europe.
New CD set for release centering on acoustic gospel slated for release February 2009.

Set List

Two 45 minute sets with 15 minute intermission for most concerts-flexible. A sampling of titles are "Id Like to Say Hello", "Kiss Me Baby" "Hallelujah I Love Him So", "Rock Me Baby", "Fever", Women Be Wise" and "You Are My Sunshine."