ECA season opens with Bria Skonberg

Master class scheduled at Meadowdale High School
By Brian Soergel | Sep 28, 2017
Courtesy of: Bria Skonberg Bria Skonberg opens Edmonds Center for the Arts' 11 season Oct. 5.

Edmonds Center for the Arts’ 11th season opens Oct. 5 with Canadian singer, trumpeter and songwriter Bria Skonberg.

Before the performance, Skonberg will lead a master class with Meadowdale High School students as part of ECA’s free artist residency and outreach programs.

Skonberg is no stranger to Puget Sound, as she recently performed at the Triple Door and Jazz Alley in Seattle.

“When I lived in British Columbia, I played often for the vibrant swing dance community in venues such as the Century Ballroom, as well as for the Puget Sound Traditional Jazz Society,” she said.

When asked which musicians have had the biggest influence, her answer really shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“Louis Armstrong, because of his trumpet playing, singing and overall humanitarian spirit. He loved to make music for people, as do I.

“After that I'm inspired by so many, from Anita O'Day to Lauryn Hill, Duke Ellington to Esquivel, Perez Prado, Clark Terry and Clifford Brown, David Byrne and David Bowie, Adele, Wynton Marsalis, Joni Mitchell and more.”

The Wall Street Journal has called Skonberg one of the “most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.”

The New York Times called her “the shining hope of hot jazz, on the strength of a clarion trumpet style indebted to Louis Armstrong, a smooth purr of a singing voice inspired by Anita O’Day, and the wholesome glow of youth.”

Recognized as one of “25 for the Future” by DownBeat magazine, Skonberg is newly signed to Sony Music Masterworks’ Okeh Records and released her latest album, “Bria,” in September 2016.

The trumpet may be Skonberg’s chosen instrument, but her shows feature plenty of singing. Earlier this year at the Juno Awards, Canada’s equivalent to the Emmy Awards, she took the top award in the Jazz Vocal Album of the Year category for her 2016 self-titled work.

It included original songs, as well as covers of “From This Moment On,” “Que Sera Sera” and “Malaguena,” the latter where she shows off her scatting talents.

Skonberg’s “With a Twist” is another collaboration with producer Matt Pierson as well as multiple Grammy award-winner Gil Goldstein. It is an interpretive CD, with one original song and covers of “Sway,” “Soul Bossa Nova,” “Whatever Lola Wants,” “Dance Me to the End of Love” and – in a nod to modern sensibilities – an instrumental version of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.”

Skonberg is a self-described “small-town girl” from Chilliwack, British Columbia. She left for Vancouver out of high school and earned a degree in jazz trumpet performance from Capilano University.

In 2012, Skonberg released “So Is The Day,” her first album on a U.S.-based label. That collection featured originals and standards, and included a duet with John Pizzarelli, who performed in Edmonds in May.

In 2015, a year after her second album, “Into Your Own,” was released, Skonberg received the Jazz at Lincoln Center Swing! Award.

Skonberg has performed at some 100 festivals worldwide. She is the co-founder of the New York Hot Jazz Camp and New York Hot Jazz Festival.

Further accolades include Best Vocal and Best Trumpet awards from Hot House Jazz Magazine (2014-15), Outstanding Jazz Artist at the New York Bistro Awards (2014), a DownBeat Rising Star (2013-15), and a nominee for Jazz Journalists’ Association Up and Coming Artist (2013).

Last year, the 33-year-old Skonberg’s wedding was featured prominently in The New York Times’ Wedding section. She married Matthew Papper, artistic director of the historic Town Hall performing arts venue in Manhattan.


Bria Skonberg

Where: Edmonds Center for the Arts, 410 Fourth Ave. N, Edmonds
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5
Tickets: $19-$49, $15 youth/student, 10 percent discount for seniors and military
Information: 425-275-9595, www.ec4arts.org or ECA box office
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