Bria's Hot Five
from Vancouver BC
Contact DetailsBria Skonberg
Still in her early 20's, Bria Skonberg has been no stranger to the stage since the age of four. Originally from Chilliwack, British Columbia, Bria began with piano lessons but moved to the trumpet at age eleven, encouraged by her ever-supportive family. She soon delved into both big band and musical theatre, gaining experience as a player as well as an entertainer. Inspiration from summer camps and performances led her to pursue a career in music.
Bria now resides in Vancouver, BC, where she has recently completed a Degree in Jazz Performance from Capilano College. There she played lead trumpet in the A Band, playing alongside such greats as Cedar Walton, Ed Thigpen, Rob McConnell, and Jimmy Heath. She has studied with Vancouver trumpeters Alan Matheson and Kevin Elaschuk, as well as good friend and jazz/life enthusiast Simon Stribling.
A star on the Canadian and American Traditional Jazz Circuit since her teens, she is among a group of brilliant young musicians who are revitalizing the classic jazz of past eras. Bria leads The 51st Eight, a group of talented young musicians that stemmed out of Chilliwack’s diverse music community. Since their 2001 debut as the first Canadian youth band to play the prestigious Sacramento Jubilee, they have established themselves as a professional band at multiple festivals in Washington, Oregon and California, as well as the Sun Valley Jazz Jamboree for four years straight. She has also founded an all female seven piece jazz band, The Mighty Aphrodite Jazz Band, with good friend and reed player Claire McKenna. This group has made waves nationwide and although relatively new to the scene they have appeared at the Sacramento Jubilee, Arizona Classic, Mammoth Lakes Jubilee, Pentastic Jazz Festival and are booked for many more. Between these two groups Bria will have appeared at over 20 traditional jazz festivals in the 2006-2007 year.
She is versed in both Classical and Modern Jazz styles, but cites Louis Armstrong as her key influence. She has recorded on over 10 albums, and she is featured often as a vocalist and trumpeter with Dal Richards and his Orchestra, an icon in Canadian jazz history. She was the 2006 winner of the Jazz Award of Merit and scholarship, awarded on behalf of CBC, Capilano College, and the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society for her good academic work, musical abilities and potential.
Bria has also proven herself as a notable guest artist, appearing as a featured soloist at the Arizona Classic Jazz Festival, Pismo Beach Jubilee by the Sea, and the Crystal City Jazz Celebration in Virginia. She has performed overseas in France, Holland, England, and Germany at various festival events and jazz clubs. She is commonly found with horn in hand, happy to play at any opportunity which has found her onstage performing with the likes of Allan Vache, Eddie Locke, Mark Shane, Bill and John Allred, Eddie Metz Jr, Duke Heitger, Jon-Erik Kellso and many more.
For the last three years she has been active as an advocate for youth musicians, working as a teacher and counselor at the Heebie Jeebies Youth Jazz Camp, Mammoth Lakes Youth Jazz Camp and the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society Youth Jazz Camp in the summer. She has begun programming, narrating and performing educational elementary school shows, and has given clinics at Sacramento State University and the University of Colorado pertaining to improvising and her experiences.