NYC Trumpeter, Singer, Songwriter, Instigator.
2017 JUNO Winner
Vocal Jazz Album of the Year
2018 / 2020 Juno Nominee
"Ms. Skonberg has become 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"
- Nate Chinen, NY Times
Photo credit John Abbott
New Album Brings a Millennial Flavor to a Collection of Standards and Originals
“…poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.”
- Wall Street Journal
“A millennial shaking up the jazz world”
To most of us, the adventures of trailblazing trumpeter, vocalist and songwriter Bria Skonberg are borderline unbelievable.
Born in British Columbia, Canada and now residing in New York City, Bria has been a featured artist at hundreds of festivals and stages the world over, including New Orleans Jazz & Heritage, Kobe, Monterey, Breda, Newport and Montreal Jazz Festivals. Described as “one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” (Wall Street Journal), she has performed with Jon Batiste, Wycliffe Gordon, Stephane Wrembel, Steven Bernstein, U2 & Sun Ra Arkestra, The American Pops and Vancouver Symphony Orchestras, The Blacksmiths “We Insist” Band, and once sang the “Star Spangled Banner” at Madison Square Garden for a NY Rangers game. The “shining hope of hot jazz” (NY Times) has been at the forefront of a revival of classic American music as both a performer and educator, programming concerts and workshops for students of all ages. A 3x Juno Award Nominee, Bria's debut LP on Sony Masterworks won for Best Jazz Vocal Album and made the Top 5 on Billboard jazz charts. Bria has recorded on over 25 albums and recently released her sixth studio solo album “Nothing Never Happens” consisting of mostly original compositions; Her music has garnered over 13 million streams online and over 85000 social media followers. A 6x Downbeat Rising Star, further accolades include the Jazz at Lincoln Center Swing Award, Best Vocal and Best Trumpet from Hot House Jazz Magazine and Outstanding Jazz Artist at the Bistro Awards. She tours constantly bringing her own signature sounds of fiery trumpet playing, smoky vocals and story-telling together with adventurous concoctions of classic and new.
The daughter of teachers, Bria is passionate about education and the learning experience. She was introduced to jazz by a spirited public school band program and local festival in her hometown of Chilliwack. She earned her degree in Jazz Trumpet Performance from Capilano University in Vancouver where she studied with Kevin Elaschuk, Alan Matheson, and independently with Australian cornetist Simon Stribling, all while balancing a full road schedule and managing two bands. Following graduation she performed for four years with Canada’s King of Swing Dal Richards, and was taken under the wing of music producer Paul Airey who cultivated her love of song writing.
She traveled extensively, performing in China, Japan and throughout Europe as a featured artist in traditional jazz circles. Seeking new challenges, Bria moved to New York in 2010 and studied privately with renowned trumpeter Warren Vache for two years. She now appears often as a guest faculty member and clinician, giving masterclasses and private instruction as well as directing and performing with student ensembles at all levels.
Bria is a Co-Founder/Director of the NY Hot Jazz Camp and has served as faculty at the Teagarden Jazz Camp (Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation), Centrum Jazz Camp, Geri Allen Jazz Camp and Junior Jazz Academy (JALC). She has performed hundreds of educational concerts and workshops for students of all ages, has led an ensemble for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s “Jazz for Young People”outreach program and is an Educational Advisor to the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens. She has been an Artist in Residence collaborating with Syracuse University, Ball State University, UNC Greensborough, Jazz Arts Group in Columbus, Cape May Regional Schools, and more.
In 2018 Lincoln Center sought out her leadership for a tribute to the first integrated all female big band, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, which launched her acclaimed group Sisterhood of Swing.
In 2019 she was a featured member of Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour for 26 dates alongside Cecile McLorin Salvant, Christian Sands, Melissa Aldana and Jamison Ross. She is an active member of the Women in Jazz Organization, Jazz Education Network, a Bach Conn-Selmer artist, a board member of the International Trumpet Guild, and a new mother.
“I play jazz because it's the closest I can get to flying.…spreading joy, relating the human experience, and putting good into the world to counteract the negative. I want to make music that makes people feel, and think.”
- Bria Skonberg