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A Listening Session With Bria Skonberg

All that hot, swingin' stuff

Bria Skonberg
Bria Skonberg (photo: Carolina Palmgren)

Trumpeter and vocalist Bria Skonberg has used the term “trad fusion” to describe her music: steeped in the swing and vivacity of ’20s and ’30s “hot” jazz, yet shaped by a range of other aesthetics in jazz, modern pop and beyond. The British Columbia native has gained increasing acclaim since moving to New York, cofounding the spirited New York Hot Jazz Festival and steadily releasing eclectic albums as a bandleader, including Fresh (2009), So Is the Day (2012) and Into Your Own (2014). These recordings find her performing originals, standards and arrangements of gems by Joni Mitchell, the Beatles, Janis Joplin, the Cardigans, Stevie Wonder and more. Her newest offering, Bria, produced by Matt Pierson, marks her Sony Masterworks debut and features pianist Aaron Diehl, bassist Reginald Veal, drummer Ali Jackson and guests.

Breaking away from her teaching duties at the Juilliard Jazz Academy on a sweltering mid-July day, Skonberg, 32, generously lent JazzTimes her ears and shared her thoughts about music spanning nearly a century.

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