Bria Skonberg Takes Command

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Friday March 30, 2018

From All that Jazz

All that Jazz: Bria Skonberg takes command
By: Hanan Daqqa

Not only is she a multitalented musician, but her presence is magnetic. As she draws you in, you feel her passion playing the trumpet; you enjoy the taste of her smoky vocals. She commands respect.

Bria Skonberg is a New York based Canadian singer, trumpeter and songwriter. In 2017, her self-titled album won the JUNO award in the category of Vocal Jazz Album of the year. Fairfax Times had this interview with her ahead of her performance at the George Mason University Center for the Arts with the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. This is how she described the upcoming event: ‘The beauty of the Fairfax concert is that it’s with a big band, which is the coolest thing ‘¦ I travel with a five-piece band, but having 18 people is super exciting. It’s like the velocity, the power of that is so exciting.’

How did you manage men in the industry?

More often than not, I’ve been the one writing the check, so it didn’t matter (laughs). I’ve led my own bands for a long time; if there have been times when people have hired me, nobody said ‘You’re a girl and you sing’‘¦ I sing and I play trumpet, that’s two-for one, that’s a good deal for them … Your first time in the door, nothing is guaranteed, but when I get invited back to play with a group, there’s no discussion there‘¦I’ve been around a lot of older jazz musicians for a long time, and you have to come into it with a pretty strong attitude, and command through the way that you play ‘¦.

Do you have any advice for female musicians?

Command ‘¦ as a factor, when I look at a bandstand, I don’t see gender, race, I see people, I hear people.

Read the full interview here