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Bria Skonberg: In Flight

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Tuesday April 04, 2017

From All About Jazz

Bria Skonberg: In Flight
By: RJ Deluke

Bria Skonberg’s roots are in a city more than 2,000 miles-and a different country-away from New Orleans and the traditional jazz music identified with region at the mouth of the Mississippi River. But when she puts her trumpet to her lips and plays, whether with her own quintet or another formation, running through a standard or original song, the spirit of the Crescent City emerges.

Traditional jazz-particularly Louis Armstrong-is what first inspired the young girl in Chilliwack, British Columbia, to follow the musical road and take the fork that led to jazz. Her strong chops and brisk attack on trumpet have led her to the music mecca of New York City and fostered a strong career. She plays venues around the world and can be seen at all the major festivals. (This summer will mark her first appearance at the Montreal International Jazz Festival).

“My number-one hero is Louis Armstrong, for many reasons,” she says. “He was an innovative, great, incredible trumpet player. An excellent communicator of songs and lyrics and rhythm. And a great human being. He was a great humanitarian. When he met people, he took them at face value.”

That style isn’t the only thing in Skonberg’s bag. She is a serious player who incorporates all aspects of jazz. She listens to all kinds of music and that has an effect on her playing as well. As does life in general. And she sings. Quite well, in fact. Like her trumpet, her voice is bright and expressive; her phrasing brings a story enchantingly to the listener.

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