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Trumpeter, Vocalist, and Composer Bria Skonberg Brings Jazz to Middlebury February 19

February 5, 2016

Concert to Include an Ode to Louis Armstong

Bria Skonberg5-photoSethCashman.jpgMiddlebury, VT—The Middlebury College Performing Arts Series welcomes rising jazz star Bria Skonberg, “poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” (Wall Street Journal) to the Mahaney Center for the Arts on February 19. She will lead her quintet in a dynamic program including an ode to Louis Armstrong, plus a mix of jazz standards and her own original works.

Bria_Skonberg2_credit_Tom_Concordia.jpgA specialist in classic American hot jazz, Skonberg expands the vocabulary and traditions of jazz legends Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet with worldly rhythms and modern jazz variance. Her U.S. debut album “So Is The Day” peaked at number seven on the National Jazz Charts, and featured original compositions and New Orleans-inspired stylistic fusions. Accolades have rained down on this young artist: she has won the Jazz At Lincoln Center Swing! Award (2015), DownBeat Magazine Rising Star (2013–15), The New York Bistro Awards Outstanding Jazz Artist (2014), and was a nominee for Jazz Journalists’ Association Up and Coming Artist (2013). She swept the 2014 Hot House Magazine Jazz Awards in all categories nominated. She is an educator, Co-Director/Co-Founder of the New York Hot Jazz Camp, and Co-Founder of the New York Hot Jazz Festival.

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Skonberg’s talent was brought to our attention by the Department of Music’s Director of Jazz Activities, Dick Forman. He isn’t alone in his admiration—Skonberg was won the praise of critics from coast to coast:

“Bria Skonberg looks like a Scandinavian angel (or Thor’s girlfriend), plays trumpet like a red hot devil, and sings like a dream. Her new album, ‘So Is the Day’ reveals that she’s also a very capable bandleader and composer.”—Will Friedwald, Wall Street Journal.

“It’s a rare talent that can straddle—and dare request membership in—the trumpet artist continuum emanating from Louis Armstrong and progressing down through his ‘Neo Orleans’ progeny: Byron Stripling, Wynton Marsalis, and Nicholas Payton (whose big band trumpet section Skonberg graces). However, with her bravura performance on ‘So is the Day,’ Bria Skonberg confirms that she is not only indeed a triple threat musician—player, vocalist, and composer—but also that that esteemed lineage, consummate entertainers all, would heartily approve her membership…She exhibits stylistic shades of Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, and Diana Krall. She has a beautiful voice—both soul sultry and innocent sweet—and an instrumentalist’s feel for melodic line and rhythm. Her vocal and horn chops intertwine seamlessly…An insightfully versatile composer, Skonberg delivers nine engaging originals, all stylistically unique…”—Nicholas F. Mondello, All About Jazz.

BriaSkonberg3_cred_Seth_Cashman.jpgThe Bria Skonberg Quintet concert will take place on Friday, February 19, 2016 at 8:00 P.M. in Robison Hall at the Kevin P. Mahaney ’84 Center for the Arts. The Mahaney Center is located on the campus of Middlebury College, at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 south/S. Main Street. Free parking is available curbside on Rt. 30 or in the Center for the Arts parking lot, in rows marked faculty/staff/visitors. Tickets are $20 for the general public; $15 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; and $6 for Middlebury College students. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (802) 443-MIDD (6433) or go to http://www.middlebury.edu/arts.

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Photo credits: Seth Cashman, Tom Concordia

Mahaney Center for the Arts
Middlebury College
South Main St./Route 30 South
72 Porter Field Rd.
Middlebury, VT 05753
(802) 443-3168 phone
(802) 443-2834 fax
cfa@middlebury.edu