Cecilie started her vocal training at the age of ten, joining local choirs and attending private singing lessons at community music schools in Norway. Throughout her teenage years she took private singing lessons, which introduced her to classical, jazz, folk and pop music. In 2000 she started a BA (Hons.) in Jazz Studies at Leeds College of Music, Leeds, U.K. During the three-year course her main focus became performance and compositional styles within jazz and improvised music.
In the autumn of 2000 Cecilie came up with the concept of Expazz and recruited pianist Rob Barron, double bassist, Matt Deegan and drummer Henrik Salvesen. By March 2002 Expazz had recorded twice producing a demo and the CD Hermetic Words, and played that year at various venues in Leeds and at Molde International Jazz Festival in Norway.
In 2004 the project changed name to Periwinkle and Cecilie and Rob recruited a new drummer (Ulrik Ibsen Thorsrud) and double bassist (Audun Ellingsen). This ongoing project has been touring and playing at different venues in Norway and the UK.
In 2002 she started working on a trio project named Pulque with guitarist Rune Mandelid and double bassist Audun Ellingsen, experimenting with the use of electronics and focusing more on original compositions. The trio played at Molde Jazz Festival in the summer of that year.
During 2003 she co-founded an a cappella vocal quartet Røyst with three other Norwegian and English jazz vocalists Maria Jardardottir, Kari Nergaard Bleivik and Anna Stott. This ongoing project performs mainly original music written and arranged by the four vocalists, and conceptually works within jazz, Norwegian folk, experimental and contemporary music genres. Røyst has performed at different venues in Leeds, completed several tours of the USA, England, Mexico, Zimbabwe and Norway and released their first recording, Nordic Initiative in spring 2005.
In October 2005, Cecilie completed her Master (MMus) in Contemporary Music at Dartington College of Arts, Devon, England, where she was exploring different approaches to musical performance through installation and multimedia performance-styles. The resulting project Lonesome George and InsideOut is a still on going project involving guitar player Rune Mandelid and clarinet player Saffron Beagley.
Throughout 2006 to 2008, Cecilie focused on her two main projects Røyst and Periwinkle, as well as her Oslo -Norway based freelance career as a jazz vocalist. This resulted in three main tours to England, Mexico and Norway and a collaboration project with Røyst and UK saxophonist Iain Ballamy and Norwegian drummer Thomas Strønen.
In 2009, Cecilie moved to Zimbabwe on an exchange project, working as a music teacher at the jazz degree programme at the Zimbabwe College of Music. Throughout 2009 and 2010 she has been involved in several Zimbabwe based projects, working with fusing traditional Zimbabwean music with Western genres as well as working with poetry and dance. This has resulted in several collaboration projects: Unsound, Cecilie Giskemo Quartet, Dikson and Andrew Mamvura, as well as the current main project: WoCalling, that featured on Harare International Festival of the Arts 2010.
www.myspace.com/wocalling - WoCalling Project
www.myspace.com/roystmusic - Røyst vocal quartet
www.sonicslamchorus.com - Music and Poetry project