Entertainment

Bria Skonberg joins CSO in Chilliwack homecoming

Diverse and downright inspirational is how this musical homecoming will play out in Chilliwack.

Get ready for All That Jazz with Bria Skonberg, presented by the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus on May 31.

The concert features a very special homecoming with trumpet player and band leader Bria Skonberg as guest soloist at the Chilliwack Alliance Church.

Born and raised in Chilliwack, Skonberg now makes New York City her home where she has carved out a major niche for herself with hard work and supreme dedication to her craft.

Musician, vocalist and composer, she’s already garnered appreciative accolades like this one describing her as “poised to be one of the most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation.”

She grew up on a hobby farm in Chilliwack, starting in music on piano before switching to trumpet at age 12. She was drawn to music, and performed as a vocalist and trumpet player first at the Chilliwack Jazz Festival and further and further afield.

It might have been those early experiences in the CSS Dixieland band that lit the red-hot flame of musical desire in this extraordinary young musician.

As she writes about her high school experiences in the ‘Wack in her bio: “The CSS Dixieband was re-named The 51st Eight and was the first Canadian youth band to ever appear at the Sacramento jubilee.

“My future in music was set.”

These days she is much in-demand as a band leader and guest artist across North America, Europe, China and Japan.

Skonberg has made a name for herself with classic jazz chops and a personal style rooted in swampy New Orleans grooves, world percussion and contemporary vocals.

After graduating from Capilano University in Vancouver, she worked and recorded, soon after winning the Jazz Award of Merit from CBC, Cap U and the Vancouver Jazz Festival, and attracting the interest of Canadian icon Dal Richards. She became a featured performer in his band from 2006-2010.

Since arriving in New York, the pace has been dizzying, with her focus on on innovation while honouring tradition:  Her debut American release, So Is The Day, peaked at No. 7 on the U.S. jazz charts and features an all-star ensemble including John Pizzarelli, Victor Goines and Wycliffe Gordon.

When she performs next week in Chilliwack, she’ll be doing classics like Stardust, Embraceable You, and Someone To Watch Over Me.

“All in all, this entire performance promises to be nothing short of sensational,” says CSO music director and conductor Paula DeWit.

Get ready for two very popular numbers: with the orchestra: Tico Tico and Sing, Sing, Sing.

Also included in the evening’s lineup of entertainment will be the Home Town Swing dancers and Belle Voci.

All That Jazz with Bria Skonberg presented by the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra and Chorus on May 31 at the Alliance Church, with tickets $25/$15 at the Cultural Centre. Concert time is 7:30 p.m.  Tickets 604-391-7469, or www.chilliwackculturalcentre.ca or at the box office.

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