Zeena Parkins

born in 1956 in Detroit, MI, United States

Zeena Parkins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Zeena Parkins

Zeena Parkins is an American harpist active in rock music, free improvisation and jazz. Parkins plays standard harps, as well as several custom-made one-of-a kind electric harps; she also plays piano and accordion. She is currently a guest faculty member for composition courses at Mills College.[1][2]

Born in 1956 in Detroit, Michigan, she studied at Bard College and moved to New York City in 1984.[2]

Her work ranges from solo performance to large ensembles. Besides standard and electric harps, her work also incorporates Foley, field recordings, analog synthesizers, samplers, oscillators and homemade instruments.[1]

She has done several solo recordings and has also recorded or performed with Björk, John Zorn (including in Cobra performances), Elliott Sharp, Ikue Mori, Butch Morris, Tin Hat Trio, Jim O'Rourke, Fred Frith, Chris Cutler, Lee Ranaldo, Nels Cline, Pauline Oliveros, Anthony Braxton, Matmos, Yoko Ono, Christian Marclay, Courtney Love's band Hole and others.[1][2][3]

She has been a member of a number of experimental rock bands, including No Safety, News from Babel, Skeleton Crew and Fred Frith's review band, Keep the Dog.[4] In March 2008 she joined Frith's Cosa Brava quintet comprising Frith, Parkins, Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi, and The Norman Conquest.

Parkins has often worked with dance companies and choreographers, including the John Jasperse Company, Jennifer Monson, Neil Greenberg, Emmanuelle Vo-Dinh,[5] and Jennifer Lacey, and has won a Bessie Award for "sustained achievement in composing scores for dance."[1] In 1997 she was awarded a grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.

She has also worked with video artist Janene Higgins[6][7] and visual artists Daria Martin, Cynthia Madansky and Mandy McIntosh.[1]


Solo studio albums

  • Something Out There (1987) No Man's Land[4]
  • Nightmare Alley (1993) Table of the Elements[4]
  • Isabelle (1995) Disk Union
  • Mouth=Maul=Betrayer (1996) Tzadik Records
  • No Way Back (1998) Atavistic[4]
  • Necklace (2006) Tzadik[4]
  • Between the Whiles (2010) Table of the Elements[4]


  • Roulette TV: Janene Higgins & Zeena Parkins. (2001) Roulette Intermedium Inc.
  • April in New York - Bobby Previte (2007) Independent


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Zeena Parkins performer biography in Misuse... program (2007)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Zeena Parkins at All Music Guide
  3. Zeena Parkins: Biography, official site.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Zeena Parkins: Works, official site.
  5. Zeena Parkins artist profile from P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved on June 18, 2008.
  6. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}
  7. {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}


  • John Jasperse Company, Misuse liable to prosecution, program for performance October 18October 20, 2007 at On the Boards, Seattle, Washington, a co-production with the Brooklyn Academy of Music, commissioned in part by Symphony Space (NYC).

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Zeena Parkins

This page was last modified 05.05.2014 12:50:24

This article uses material from the article Zeena Parkins from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.