Zeena Parkins with Cosa Brava, Jazzit, Salzburg, Austria, April 5, 2008
1956 (age 61–62)|
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Genres||Experimental, free improvisation, avant-garde|
|Instruments||Harp, accordion, keyboards, omnichord|
|Labels||No Man's Land, Tzadik|
|News from Babel, Skeleton Crew, Keep the Dog, Cosa Brava, John Zorn, Ikue Mori|
Zeena Parkins is an American harpist active in free improvisation and jazz. Parkins plays standard harps, as well as several custom electric harps; she also plays piano and accordion. She is currently a guest faculty member for composition courses at Mills College.
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.
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.
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. 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, BodyCartography Project,  and Jennifer Lacey, and has won a Bessie Award for "sustained achievement in composing scores for dance." Parkins received a 1997 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artists Award.
With Alex Cline
With Nels Cline
With Fred Frith
With News from Babel
With Marc Ribot
With John Zorn
With Tin Hat Trio
With Bobby Previte
With Pauline Oliveros