Zepparella the All-Female Zeppelin Powerhouse
Gretchen Menn Trio
19 Corte Madera Ave.
Mill Valley, CA, 94941
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
How to honor the legacy of a band deemed sacred? To tread on holy ground is perilous, and must be done with the intent and spirit of a disciple—Pay attention to the intricacies of the magic, explore the far ends of the innovation, strive for ever-growing ability, and let the purity of the love for the music drive it all.
Drummer Clementine is the founding member of ZEPPARELLA. From the beginning of her musical career, her goal has been to be onstage every night. The pursuit of that goal has led Clementine to constantly tour the US and Europe in projects as diverse as Bottom, AC/DShe, The House Of More, The Solid, Francis Bakin, Stars Turn Me On and Beaux Cheveux. She tackles the best rock drumming ever written with her own emotionally powerful style, bringing the Motown influence of the Bonham groove to the forefront. The profound musical connection established with Gretchen Menn (guitar), Holly West (bass), and Anna Kristina (vocals) creates the bond required to do this great music justice.
It was under the tutelage of classical guitarist Phillip DeFremery, a student of Andrés Segovia, that guitarist Gretchen Menn began her path on the instrument. Playing with tireless passion and constantly seeking out new challenges, her projects are often unconventional, genre-bending expressions combining elements of classical, rock, progressive, jazz, and metal. On influences, Gretchen has never tired of her initial inspirations—Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Frank Zappa, and Jeff Beck. But she has loved Jimmy Page’s guitar playing longer than she has played the guitar. It was through the music of Led Zeppelin that she found a gateway into music that resonated deeply with her, creating a love for guitar-oriented music, and, ultimately, the guitar.
Bassist Holly West began her musical journey full-steam ahead, and more recently than her stellar playing belies. Her unstoppable will and drive have truly propelled her to this moment and her place in the powerhouse Zepparella. A self-taught bass player, she is also a blossoming vocalist with rich rock pipes. Her time on stage has been well spent, developing an impressive attack, impeccable feel, and a technique which seems to have come completely naturally to her, not to mention her dazzling stage presence and joyful performance style. Her influences span the rock gauntlet, from Clutch and the Rival Sons to Slash, ZZ Top, and of course, the mighty Zeppelin.
Singer Anna Kristina is a soulful, fiery, and rocking vocal powerhouse who has stepped into Zepparella’s Plant spot for a second time. Anna was with the band for 5 years, became known for her performance in the band’s 10 million-view “When The Levee Breaks” video, took a 6-year hiatus, and now returns in 2018 to front the band. Her career has spanned acoustic, jazz, soul, rock, and her charisma and power delivers captivating performances every night. About her brilliant harp playing she says: “getting a chance to blow on the harmonica is an added bonus! Plant isn’t just a singer he’s a musician. He brings his blues background and natural percussive feel to his harmonica playing as well and I love getting lost in that. Playing the harp allows me to express on a whole different level and it’s so freeing.”
Now more than ever, Zepparella explores their own improvised magic within the framework of Zeppelin’s mighty songs!
Gretchen Menn Trio
Rapidly gaining praise in the world of instrumental rock and beyond, Gretchen Menn isn’t your average guitar hero on the rise. She once flew regional jets to support her six-string habit. She has studied, in equal parts, the music of Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Morse, Frank Zappa, and Jimmy Page. (Regarding the latter composer, she performs the music of Led Zeppelin all over the U.S. with Zepparella.) Perhaps Michael Molenda, Guitar Player Magazine’s editor-in-chief, described Gretchen’s solo music best when he said that she “seeks the unknown by blending disparate jazz, prog, and world-music influences into a tasty, guitaristic thrill ride.”
Gretchen’s second solo album, Abandon All Hope, was just released in December, 2016. A concept album based on Dante’s Inferno, it marks a significant evolution in her compositions as well as guitar playing. Since the release of her first solo album, Hale Souls, in July of 2011, Gretchen immersed herself in study to expand her skills not just on the guitar, but in composition and orchestration. The result with Abandon All Hope is an almost double album-length work of intensely compositional, instrumental music which evokes the epic journey through Dante’s circles of the underworld. Accompanying the music is original libretto text from Michael Molenda and haunting images from Max Crace.
Apart from demolishing her mother’s violin with Pete Townshend-like vehemence at age three, Gretchen’s passion for all things guitar didn't fully surface until her early teenage years. It was under the tutelage of classical guitarist Phillip de Fremery, a student of Andrés Segovia, that Gretchen began her path on the instrument. Her father, noted writer and former editor-in-chief of Guitar Player Magazine, Don Menn, was quick to point her in the direction of the greats as soon as she expressed interest in guitar.
While earning a degree in music at Smith College, Gretchen’s adventurous approach to her education would foreshadow her approach to the guitar. She convinced a professor to allow her to launch a special studies project on the music of Frank Zappa. Her analyses of “The Sheik Yerbouti Tango” and “The Girl in the Magnesium Dress” showed an interest in genre-bending composition that would manifest later in her original instrumentals.
After college, Gretchen began considering her career path, and how she might prevent a situation she sought to avoid: tainting her love of music with the necessity of paying rent. The solution? She went directly from college to flight school, and two years later was flying regional jets for the airlines. Yet she was never without her guitar, and after a year at the airlines she found the life incompatible with the focus she needed to truly pursue music. So she relinquished her position in the jet and embarked on a more direct approach to her musical goals.
She joined various musical projects and constantly sought out new challenges. In 2007, she recorded Unbreakable Strings with Sticks and Stones, a high-energy, instrumental trio. In 2010, she played in Lapdance Armageddon, an aggressive acoustic duo with Jude Gold. In 2011 she wrote, produced, and recorded her first solo album, Hale Souls. She continues to tour internationally with Zepparella.
Gretchen continues to study guitar, composition, and orchestration.
Tickets at the door $37
Tickets Available at the Door
Sweetwater Music Hall
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