Jenny Toomey

Jennifer "Jenny" Gillen Toomey (born 1968) is an American indie rock musician and arts activist.

Jenny Toomey
Jennifer Gillen Toomey

1968 (age 5051)
Arts activist

Early life and education

Toomey is from Chevy Chase, Maryland, and later, Washington, D.C.

Toomey is a graduate of Georgetown University with a degree in philosophy.


Toomey was a member of the bands Geek, Tsunami, Liquorice, Grenadine, So Low and Choke, among others, and has also recorded under her own name.[1]

In 1990, Toomey co-founded the Simple Machines record label with a housemate who left the project soon after. Toomey ran the label with Kristin Thomson from 1990 to 1998 out of their house in Arlington, Virginia. Along with TeenBeat Records and Dischord Records, Simple Machines helped document the D.C. punk and indie rock scenes. Tsunami was also greatly influential in the do it yourself (D.I.Y.) movement among the punk, grunge and indie communities. Among the artists released on Simple Machines are Tsunami, Grenadine, Franklin Bruno, Ida, and Scrawl, among others.[2]

In 2000, Toomey founded the Future of Music Coalition, a Washington, D.C. think tank that translates the complex issues at the intersection of music, policy and law, aiming to help (primarily independent) musicians, including intellectual property rights, health insurance, and the effects of corporate consolidation of radio and the music industry. She was the founding executive director.[3]

As part of her advocacy work, Toomey participated in many conferences, including the Future of the Music Industry forum held at Georgetown University in January 2003, among others.[4]

In November 2007, she was appointed Program Officer for Media and Cultural Policy in the Media, Arts and Culture Unit at the Ford Foundation. She is currently Director, Internet Freedom at the Ford Foundation.


with Choke

  • Kingdom of Mattresses (1990)

with Geek

  • Wedge (Various Artists) (1990)
  • Three's Company (Various Artists) (1990)
  • Screw (Various Artists) (1991)
  • Hammer

with My New Boyfriend

  • Pulley (Various Artists) (1991)
  • Supersaw

with Slack

  • Neapolitan Metropolitan (Various Artists) (1992)
  • Bates Stamper

with Grenadine

  • Goya (1992)
  • Trilogy (1992)
  • Don't Forget the Halo (1993)
  • Nopalitos (1994)
  • Christiansen (1994)

with Tsunami

  • Deep End (1993)
  • The Heart's Tremolo (1994)
  • World Tour and Other Destinations (1995)
  • A Brilliant Mistake (1997)

with Liquorice

  • Stalls (1995)
  • Listening Cap (1995)


  • Antidote (2001)
  • Tempting (2002)


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