b. 5 February 1964, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Gilmore was born into a musical family, his father being a classical percussionist. At first, he followed his father but in his early teens the guitar began to supersede drums, the latter instrument being taken up by his brother, Marque Gilmore. He was listening to and leaning towards pop and funk but began to move into jazz, an inclination accentuated during a period of study with John Baboian and Randy Roos. Gilmore’s influences at this time included John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra and Chick Corea’s Return To Forever. He also studied at New York University with Joe Lovano and Jim McNeely. It was in New York that Gilmore worked with Steve Coleman’s M-Base Collective, where his interest in playing music in unusual metres was enhanced.
Among numerous artists in many genres with whom Gilmore has worked over the years have been Muhal Richard Abrams, Geri Allen, Cindy Blackman, Ron Blake, Randy Brecker, Don Byron, Uri Caine, Steve Coleman, Alice Coltrane, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Douglas, Melissa Etheridge, Robin Eubanks, Rachelle Ferrell, Trilok Gurtu, Isaac Hayes, Graham Haynes, Roland Shannon Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Lost Tribe, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Meshell Ndegéocello, Joan Osborne, Greg Osby, Lonnie Plaxico, Dianne Reeves, Sam Rivers, David Sanborn, Boz Scaggs, Wayne Shorter, Mavis Staples, Joss Stone, Steve Williamson and Cassandra Wilson. In 2003 he premiered his composition, ‘African Continuum’, written with the benefit of a Chamber Music America New Works Composer grant.
Gilmore has formed a number of bands, one from the early 00s being Kindred Spirits in which his sidemen were Matthew Garrison (bass), Aref Durvesh (tabla), and Marque Gilmore (drums). He also worked with Claudia Acuña, Ravi Coltrane, Christian McBride and Jeff Watts, recording Unified Presence in 2006. Working fluidly in both improvisational and composed music, Gilmore is noted especially for his exploration of the infinite possibilities of rhythmic variations. (NB: Not to be confused with the English rock guitarist David Gilmour.)