LIVE: Bria Skonberg @ the Van Dyck, 7/25/14

Bria Skonberg

Bria Skonberg

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

Dixieland jazz in the 21st century. Bria Skonberg and her quartet showed us an updated version of this revered form during their performance at the Van Dyck in Schenectady last weekend.

Hailing originally from Chilliwack, British Columbia and now headquartered in Brooklyn, trumpeter-vocalist Skonberg led her quartet through an hour-and-a-half set of standards, covers of late ’60s classics and original tunes.

After opening with Harold Arlen’s “Get Happy,” she followed with “Comes Love,” a tune associated with Billie Holiday, and Skonberg established herself as strongly within the jazz tradition. She followed with Joni Mitchell’s “ Big Yellow Taxi” (with scat-like singing of many of the lyrics) and John Lennon’s homage to his mother, “Julia.” “Six More Weeks” was a sultry original featuring Skonberg on vocals.

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She then followed the contemporary practice of putting together two songs together. The mash-up of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke” with Duke Ellington’s version of “Three Little Words” was lively and fun. Keyboardist Dalton Riderhour was given some solo space, as he performed Eubie Blake’s “Charleston Rag.”

The set ended with Janis Joplin’s homage to materialism, “Mercedes Benz,” and the encore was the old standard, “Dream a Little Dream of Me.”

With one foot planted in jazz tradition and the other exploring new material, Bria Skonberg is moving an old traditional form of jazz forward in her own way. And if you missed her concert at the Van Dyck, you’re in luck – she’s returning to Nippertown

She will be making a return appearance to Nippertown as part of the upcoming fall A Place for Jazz concert series, playing at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady’s Whisperdome on Friday, November 7. Stay tuned for details…

Sean Cronin

Sean Cronin

Darien Douglas

Darien Douglas

Dalton Ridenour

Dalton Ridenour

Bria Skonberg

Bria Skonberg

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