Songwriters In The Raw w/Jessica Smucker, Jillian Matundan & Linda Sharar
Coming on January 14
Run Time: 150 min.
Doors – 6:30 PM
Showtime – 7:00 PM
Tickets – $20 advance/$25 day of show
Songwriters in the Raw is an in-the-round concert series curated and hosted by Jessica Smucker. This show’s special guests are Jillian Matundan (DC Metro area) and Linda Sharar (Boston).
“Jillian is the whole package, her voice immediately soothes and captures your attention, then her multi-instrumental mastery weaves a new dimension into her music, and of course there are her songs – well crafted poetry that is highly original and yet feels comfortable in a way that only the finest of songs provide.” — Ron Olesko, Folk Music Notebook
“Jillian Matundan [is] a multi-instrumentalist with a talent and intuitive grasp of songwriting, with catchy riffs, cool poignant melodies and a presence that’s at once genuine, earnest and charming. Her songs are personal, yet universal, clever yet sometimes disarming.” — Rick Landers, Guitar International Magazine
Jillian Matundan is an award-winning, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter living in Northern Virginia. Her music and style are a blend of her favorite acoustic, rock, indie, and folk influences and inspirations. She continues to win audiences with her deft and percussive guitar style, soothing vocals, and her warm, unassuming, and self-deprecating stage presence.
Born and raised in Central New York, she fell in love with classical music when she began taking violin lessons at the age of three. Jillian trained on piano, flute, and even sitar — but is self-taught on all the other instruments she plays (guitar, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, string bass, and a host of other random instruments). She took a fifteen-year hiatus from writing and performing music to pursue her career in the labor movement when she re-discovered her musical muse in August of 2018.
Encouraged by friends and fellow songwriters, Jillian began playing solo at local open mics in January 2019, sharing songs she had only started writing a few months before and has been on a tear ever since, winning ten Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Awards, Silver in the first-ever Songwriters of Washington COVIDeo contest, and becoming Vienna, VA Idol Runner-up in 2019. Since then, she has played numerous shows and venues such as Rockwood Music Hall, Club Passim, Jammin’ Java, The Wharf DC, the Edwards Opera House, Farm Brew Live, Epicure Cafe, and Earp’s Ordinary. She has opened for Michael Clem and Greg Howard (Rockwood Music Hall), Anne Hills (Focus Arlington), and Scott Cook and Pamela Mae (The Listening Booth).
She released her debut EP, “Hangin’ On” in June 2020 and has collaborated and worked with other musicians as a session musician in recordings and live shows. In August of 2021, she successfully fundraised her first full-length studio album with Plaid Dog Studios in Boston and began recording in late 2021 and through 2022. The new album will be released soon.
Linda Sharar has been a presence on the Northeast singer/songwriter circuit for over 25 years. With three independently released CDs produced by Tom Dube (Richard Thompson, Julianna Hatfield), she has performed on stages of the top folk venues in the country, including Club Passim in Cambridge MA, the Iron Horse in Northampton MA, Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem PA, Cafe Lena in Saratoga NY, the Bottom Line in New York City and Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta. She has also appeared on stage solo or in collaboration with Camp Hoboken and the RESPOND collective at well known festivals including the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in Hillsdale NY and the Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville TX.
In recent years Linda has appeared annually at the Black Potatoe Music Festival each summer with the Sharar Sisters. Additional pop-up gigs by the Sharar Sisters have included the New Moon Coffeehouse opening for John Gorka and headlining house concerts primarily in the Tri-State region.
Linda uses her creative gifts as a songwriter/performer to fund-raise for charities and special causes, and was instrumental in the success of the RESPOND I compilation, which raised over $150,000 for the RESPOND shelter in Somerville MA, and was hailed as the “Top album of 1999” by Billboard Magazine.
“Jessica Smucker is an original; a real artist with a cohesive message, a drop-dead gorgeous voice that is all her own. Her background in poetry gives her lyrics a specificity and depth. Each time I listen to ‘When I Was the Weather’ I hear something new, the way I do when I listen to Joni Mitchell or Bob Dylan. She is that good.” – Nerissa Nields, singer/songwriter (The Nields)
Jessica Smucker believes that the best way to change the world is to channel our pain into connection. Her songs have a way of reaching deeply into people’s souls and inviting the kind of reflection that feels both reassuring and unsettling. Wrapped in catchy melodies, her lyrics appear simple and relatable on the surface, but each listen will uncover more hidden pockets of nuance. She’s the kind of writer and performer who can lull a noisy room into a hush with a single line.
Based in Lancaster, PA, Jessica was raised in the Mennonite faith tradition by a family full of storytellers, activists, adventurers, and pranksters. She has toured nationwide and performs regularly throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. Her discography spans from 2008-2022 and includes two EPs and three full-length albums. Between the summers of 2021-2022 she released five more singles, including synth-pop anthems “Dinosaurs,” “Rose of Jericho,” and “Phoenix,” and piano ballads “Stones to Throw” and “War of Attrition.” Her fourth studio album is planned for release in 2024.
Jessica has won or placed in several national songwriting contests including SolarFest’s Singer/Songwriter Showcase Competition, the Connecticut Folk Festival Song Competition, and the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. In her life beyond music, Jessica is a published poet and essayist, a social justice warrior, a freakishly good Scrabble player, and mother to two of the smartest people she’s ever met in real life!