Penn State College of Arts and Architecture
Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State

Trumpeter-singer Bria Skonberg to bring hot jazz to Schwab Nov. 30

As a grade-school musician, Bria Skonberg ditched the piano for an instrument with more bebop attitude—the trumpet. Two decades later, the self-described small-town girl from Chilliwack, British Columbia, is “shaking up the jazz world” (Vanity Fair) and earning rave reviews as a musician and vocalist. Skonberg will make her Penn State debut at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, in Schwab Auditorium. She will perform a variety of standards and original compositions with her quintet.

Purchase tickets, which are $38 for an adult, $15 for a University Park student and $28 for a person 18 and younger. A grant from the University Park Allocation Committee makes Penn State student prices possible.

“She has a beautiful voice—both soul sultry and innocent sweet—and an instrumentalist’s feel for melodic line and rhythm,” wrote an All About Jazz critic. A Wall Street Journal writer mused, “With her outstandingly satchel-mouthed trumpet solos, charismatic singing and sunshine personality, [she] continues to shine a light on the New Hot Jazz movement.”

In addition to fronting a high school-era ska band and jazz ensembles—including Mighty Aphrodite Jazz Band, The 51st Eight and Bria’s Hot Five—Skonberg has performed with notable musicians throughout North America. She has shared the stage with guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and Howard Alden, clarinetist Anat Cohen, Vancouver’s King of Swing Dal Richards, Woody Allen (at Café Carlyle) and multi-instrumentalist Wycliffe Gordon. She’s “the full package,” Gordon said. In addition to her musical knowledge and talent, “she lights up on stage and automatically gets your attention.”

In 2012, Skonberg teamed up with Prohibition Productions to found the New York Hot Jazz Festival, an annual jazz bash that celebrates all forms of the genre. In May, she kicked off her N.Y. Hot Jazz Camp New Orleans-style music workshops.

In September, she released “Bria,” her major label debut and fourth release overall since 2009. In addition to the praise her recordings, live performances and collaborations have brought her, she has been recognized by a number of award committees. She won Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Swing! Award, New York Bistro Award’s Outstanding Jazz Artist and numerous 2014 Hot House Jazz Awards. She was also named a Rising Star and one of “25 for the Future” by DownBeat Magazine.

Listen to a Center for the Performing Arts conversation with Skonberg, which features excerpts of two songs from her new album.

Read a Center for the Performing Arts feature article about the singer-musician.

Find more information about Skonberg.

Complimentary parking for the performance will be offered at the Eisenhower Parking Deck, and complimentary wheelchair-accessible shuttle service will be provided from the parking deck to Schwab.

Patrons should be aware of construction projects near Schwab. The walkway on the Old Main side of Schwab will be closed through Dec. 30. Two short-term parking spaces behind Schwab will be closed for the duration of the construction.

Patricia Best and Thomas Ray sponsor the concert.