Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hot jazz in every sense

Bria Skonberg
Trumpeter and singer Bria Skonberg, a British Columbia native now making her mark on the New York jazz scene, brought her talents and charm to Southwest Florida on Sunday, March 8. She performed at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center in Sarasota in a South County Jazz Club concert.

Skonberg, whose music is rooted in traditional jazz but isn't limited to it, displayed a wide range of stylistic material - and strong vocals to boot. She was backed by pianist Dalton Ridenhour,  a frequent collaborator, and two Miami-based players - bassist Chuck Bergeron and drummer John Yarling. 

Chuck Bergeron, Bria Skonberg
Her repertoire ranged from Louis Armstrong's "Hotter Than That" to Janis Joplin ("Mercedes Benz") and The Mamas & the Papas ("Dream a Little Dream of Me"). A blend of jazz and American Songbook standards and Skonberg originals was sandwiched in between.

Favorites included her own recession-inspired "Have a Little Heart" and the band's take on trumpeter Charlie Shavers' "Undecided" that featured a stride piano solo from Ridenhour. Skonberg also shined bright on "Tea for Two," offered as a tribute to vocal idol Anita O'Day, and "Je Suis Seule Ce Soir," a poignant French ballad from 1941 whose title translates as "I am Alone Tonight." 

The audience dug Skonberg, clapping along to her planned finale, "Mercedes Benz."
Then they clamored for more, bringing the quartet back to the stage for "Dream a Little Dream."

 Indeed, it was a dreamy afternoon.
Ridenhour, Bergeron, Skonberg, Yarling

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