"I feel privileged to do this work. It's a way of opening the mind and ears to sounds and silence. The sound of the wind in the trees outside my apartment is as much music as the sounds coming from itunes on my computer as I write. Music is a way to express emotions, connect with others, create an atmosphere, enjoy a party, meditate, and engage in politics. Ultimately it is a way to be in the here and now and enjoy being human."
Music education is one of Gina's passions and she has been teaching since she was 15 years old.
Gina loves to run group workshops especially in Klezmer and Gypsy Jazz. Roma music gets the students improvising, something students don’t always have a chance to do. Gina has facilitated sessions at elementary, junior high and high schools, Nova Scotia Music Educators Association events, in the arctic, and at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts. This style is really fun for everyone, at any level, and has been a big hit in all her sessions.
The Maritime Conservatory's first youth music exchange brought Gina to Iqaluit, Nunavut in 2009. There, she met Andrew Morrison and Nancy Mike, who eventually became her Jerry Cans bandmates, and for the next six years they ran music camps in remote communities of Nunavut, including Nancy’s home town of Pangnirtung, Igloolik, Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet) and Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River). The camps in Igloolik and Pang are now run by their own communities, including some of the youth who were in their first camps!
On tour, Gina still tries to incorporate youth and community engagement in every place she travels. In Australia, the Jerry Cans made stops with the Uncle Jimmy Foundation in two remote Indigenous communities (Mutitjulu near Uluru and Wadeye near Darwin) to facilitate youth music workshops.
In 2016 Gina helped to organize the second Maritime Conservatory/Iqaluit fiddle ensemble exchange. Youth from Iqaluit came to Halifax for an amazing week of workshops, TV interviews, performances, and sightseeing. The week ended with a sold out concert—standing room only!
Please contact Gina if you’d like her to facilitate a community engagement, a small group session, or a private lesson.