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Born: October 22, 1956 (age 61), Toronto, Canada.
Saxophonist, flutist, composer. She studied piano with Harry Heap at the RCMT until tendonitis curtailed her hopes for a concert career. She turned to the flute at 20 and subsequently took up the soprano saxophone. Her teachers in jazz included Jane Fair, Barry Harris, and Steve Lacy. In 1983 she formed a jazz group under her own name, a quintet (or sextet) co-led by her husband, the trumpeter Larry Cramer (b Toronto 7 Jun 1955). The band appeared in local clubs and concerts, at festivals across Canada in 1987 and 1989, and in New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii in 1990. It has often included noted US musicians, among them the pianist Don Pullen and the tenor saxophonist Dewey Redman. Bunnett and Cramer also performed informally on many occasions in Cuba, beginning in 1986, and appeared (with Pullen) at the Havana International Jazz Festival in 1989 and recorded in Havava for CBC radio in 1991. Bunnett and Pullen performed as a duo at the FIJM in 1990.
Bunnett (with her Spirits of Havana ensemble) was the recipient of a second Juno award,
for Ritmo + Soul, in 2001; a National Jazz Award in 2001; and a Grammy nomination in 2003. She performed at the 2001 Genie Awards, for which the NFB film Spirits of Havana, on her collaborations with local Cuban musicians, had been nominated. She was active in providing instruments and instrument repairs to Cuban musicians and arranging performer exchanges, and was bestowed with the Toronto Arts award.