and the Bullettes, the premiere all-women jazz orchestra in the Washington, D.C., area will perform for the 2017 Washington Women in Jazz Festival at Republic Restoratives Distillery and Craft Cocktail Bar on Thursday, March 2 from 7:00 p.m.–10:30 p.m. Republic Restoratives is the largest female-owned crowd-funded distillery in the world, and the March 2 concert in Ivy City marks the first time a big band will make use of the beautiful industrial distillery space in the back room. The concert is one of multiple events in the seventh annual Washington Women in Jazz Festival. Held February 25-March 11 this year, the festival provides equitable performance opportunities for women while uplifting the image of the jazz community and drawing in new audiences.
Fueled by some of DC’s top female jazz players, Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes is ready to fire off big band renditions of jazz numbers ranging from classics of the 1920s to world premieres. The audience will enjoy a trek through time and experience stylistic changes in the jazz tradition through the music of Fletcher Henderson
, Duke Ellington
, Count Basie
, Oliver Nelson
and Thad Jones
. Following their tribute to the masters, the orchestra will play world premieres of new music by band members as well as groove arrangements of popular music.
As Washington, D.C.’s only all-women big band, the Bullettes are inspired by all-women bands such as the International Sweethearts of Rhythm and Ina Ray Hutton’s Melodears. Founder Shannon Gunn is trombone player and graduate of the George Mason University Masters in Jazz Studies program.
Their first CD release, a five-song EP, was the product of a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2011. In live shows, the group wows audiences of all ages performing swing, originals, and straight ahead jazz charts. As a vital music organization, the orchestra uplifts women in jazz, creates networking opportunities for female instrumentalists, and provides a positive role model for aspiring jazz musicians.
Shannon Gunn was hailed by Washington City Paper as “D.C.’s Best Trombonist 2015.” On Tuesday nights she can be found leading the Firebird Organ Trio at Columbia Station in Adams Morgan. She also leads a smaller version of Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes named “D.C.’s Best Small Ensemble 2016” by the Washington City Paper. In addition to their yearly performance at the Washington Women in Jazz Festival, Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes have performed at the Kennedy Center, Castleton Theatre House, the D.C. Jazz Festival and Dardanella.
On March 2, ticket holders are invited to attend a cocktail reception in the tasting room from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. to “Meet and Greet the Artist” (cash bar). Shows begin at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 pm. First-show audience members are welcome to stay through the second set if space permits. Purchase tickets in advance online or at the door. The cost is $7.00 early bird (limited availability), then $12 general admission online and $15 at the door. (For more information call Shannon Gunn at 571-318-6278).
Created by Amy K Bormet in 2011, the Washington Women in Jazz Festival creates equitable performance opportunities for women while uplifting the image of the jazz community and drawing in new audiences. Now in its seventh year, the event is thriving and contributing to a global network of women musicians. For a full listing of amazing women-led concerts, visit WashingtonWomenInJazz.com
—by Paula Phillips
, Jazz Beyond Borders