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Hear Bria Skonberg's Soulful Session on Blues Break, Drawing From 'Nothing Never Happens'

Some of the best and brightest women of jazz grew up in British Columbia: Renee Rosnes, Ingrid and Christine Jensen, Diana Krall — and trumpeter-singer Bria Skonberg, born in Chilliwack.

One of Bria’s mentors was trumpeter Warren Vaché, a master of swing. She became known on the New York jazz scene playing in the swing tradition, but on her several albums she’s become much more beyond category.

Her newest album, Nothing Never Happens, is a continuing stretch of her musical horizon. Edgier instrumentals. Charming (and sometimes haunting) vocals. One of the highlights is a crisscrossing of Duke Ellington (“Black and Tan Fantasy”) and The Beatles (“Blackbird”).

Bria’s “Blackbird Fantasy” is one of the songs she performed with her band on Blues Break at WBGO.  She also talked about how much she’s inspired by what’s happening in the world. Her marching for the women’s movement. Her wish that “social” technology could be turned off — expressed in a tune Bria calls “Blackout.”

And here is another original from the album, called “So Is the Day.”

Bria Skonberg, trumpet nad vocals; Chris Pattishall, piano and organ; Doug Wamble, guitar; Yasushi Nakamura, bass; Darrian Douglas, drums.

Videography: Khadiyah Thomas and David Tallacksen

Video Edit and Audio Mix: Corey Goldberg

Bria Skonberg appears Friday through Sunday at Jazz Standard; on Nov. 7  and 8 at the Exit Zero Jazz Festival in Cape May, N.J.; and on Nov. 15 and 16 at South Jazz Kitchen in Philadelphia.

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Michael Bourne, who died on August 21, 2022, was a presence on the air at WBGO between the end of 1984 and the start of 2022 when he retired from full-time hosting duty. He is the host of the Singers Unlimited Podcast by WBGO Studios. Previously, he hosted the popular Singers Unlimited (1985-2022). He also hosted the equally popular Blues Break for several years. Michael is a senior contributor to Down Beat, with the magazine since 1969. Doctor Bourne earned a PhD in Theatre from Indiana University -- which comes in handy when he's a theatre critic for the WBGO Journal.