Jennifer Wharton / Jennifer Wharton's Bonegasm

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 Jennifer Wharton / Jennifer Wharton's Bonegasm
Astoria, NY
Grant amount: $15,000

About the Artist

Bass trombonist Jennifer Wharton might be considered by many as a unicorn in the world of music. In the not-too-distant past, it was a rarity to even have a woman in prominent jazz bands and orchestras, but to have a bass trombone-slinging woman as leader was thought extraordinary. Wharton took it upon herself to not only raise the profile of women instrumentalists but also that of her chosen horn (and its smaller cousins). Wharton founded her trombone-powered jazz septet, Bonegasm, in 2017 . She enlisted fellow trombonists John Fedchock, Nate Mayland and Alan Ferber, along with the rhythm section of pianist Michael Eckroth, bassist Evan Gregor and drummer Don Peretz. The music performed includes originals and arrangements the leader commissioned from prominent composers she knew as well as members of the ensemble. Bonegasm has commissioned over 30 works. Bonegasm’s debut album, Bonegasm (Sunnyside, 2019) made the Billboard Jazz Chart its first week. It was followed by Not A Novelty (Sunnyside 2021) and deemed “Trombone Ecstasy” by Downbeat Magazine. The overwhelming response to Bonegasm’s music was astounding, cementing Wharton’s assertion that this assemblage was no flash in the pan but an important exponent of shaping the trombone’s primacy in jazz music. Bonegasm’s new recording, Not a Novelty, wears its intentions on its sleeve, or perhaps more appropriately, tattooed on its arm. Bonegasm has toured to Vermont, Iowa and Florida.


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