ASMAC Executive Board President
Gayle Levant began her musical studies at the age of three on the piano. At the age of eleven, she was introduced to the harp, and took to it instantly. Following orchestral training at USC and UCLA, she played with the Debut Orchestra under Michael Tilson Thomas.
Gayle’s career in the studios truly began in 1965-66, and now has an extensive list of credits. She is known as the harpist who can improvise after the main music has been recorded, and adds her own personal touch to every project. She has worked with Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder, The Carpenters, Joanie Mitchell, Barry Manilow, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Rod Stewart, Michael Bublé and the list goes on and on.
In 1969, she began a wonderful, musical relationship with Barbra Streisand, and continues to be a part of every recording project with Barbra, whether it be for film or records. In 1977, Gayle was awarded the Most Valuable Player’s Award by NARAS for her contribution on the harp to the record industry. She continued to receive this award for three more years before being given an Emeritus award.
In television in the 70’s and the 80’s, Gayle worked on Happy Days, Love American Style, Laverne and Shirley, Fantasy Island, Dallas, Falcon Crest, Hotel, Knot’s Landing, The Scarecrow and Mrs. King, etc. For the six years that the T.V. series “Lost” was on the air, she produced a unique, but eerie sound, that composer, Michael Giacchino, used every week. She has been the harpist for “The Simpsons” from the beginning of it’s long run for the past 26 years.
In motion pictures, she was the first harpist to introduce the use of celtic and paraguayan harps to the industry, and these instruments are now used frequently on many television and film scores. Dan Fogelberg presented her with a platinum album for her celtic harp work on his album, “The Innocent Age.”
She has been playing for the Academy Awards for the past twenty years, and loves being part of such a long standing tradition. Another highlight for Gayle was being given screen credit for her work on the film “The Bucket List” which opened on Christmas, 2007 with a score by Marc Shaiman.