Curtis Brengle -Piano
Westenhofer-Bass & Tuba
At age 24, Bria Skonberg has been performing on stage for over 20 years. She has appeared as a bandleader and guest artist in North America, Europe, and Asia, and has been the recipient of numerous awards including the CBC Jazz Award of Merit (2006), and the coveted Kobe Jazz Street Friendship Award, presented at the Breda Jazz Festival in 2007. Early in 2008 she was a guest on Riverwalk Jazz with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band, representing the "Next Generation of Jazz". She is often a featured performer with Canadian Icon Dal Richards and his Orchestra.
Originally from Chilliwack, British Columbia, she began with dance and piano lessons but moved to the trumpet at age eleven, encouraged by her ever-supportive family. At 12 she began playing big band music, and at 14 was the lead in the school musical "Grease". At 15 she joined Chilliwack Senior's Dixieland jazz group, now The Big Bang Jazz Band (Aka The 51 st Eight), and never looked back. Inspiration from the STJS summer camps and performances led her to pursue a career in music.
Bria now resides in Vancouver, BC, where she has 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.
The Big Bang Jazz Band, now 10 years since its start at Chilliwack Senior, have gained International recognition as "a group of brilliant young musicians who are revitalizing the classic jazz of past eras." Bria has also founded an all female six piece jazz band, The Mighty Aphrodite Jazz Band, with good friend and reed player Claire McKenna. This group has appeared at the Sacramento Jubilee, Arizona Classic, Mammoth Lakes Jubilee, Pentastic Jazz Festival, and the Elkhart Jazz Festival, as well as the Jazz Fest at Sea Cruise and with Jazzdagen in 2007.
Above all, she loves going back to "Band Camp". For the last five years she has been active as an advocate for youth musicians, working as a teacher/counselor at the, Mammoth Lakes Youth Jazz Camp, the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society Youth Jazz Camp and Camp Heebie Jeebies 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.
Sounds & Sights