Fellow Canadian Bria Skonberg has been on a tear as of late. In the last year alone, she paid tribute to Aretha Franklin alongside Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child, played with U2 at the legendary Apollo, sat in with the Dave Matthews Band, was a featured guest with Jon Batiste, performed as part of The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour, and sang the National Anthem at Madison Square Garden for a Rangers game. The 2017 Juno Award Winner for Best Vocal Jazz Album and 2018 Juno nominee has garnered over 7 million streams on Spotify, made the Top 5 on Billboard jazz charts, and was voted #2 Rising Star by DownBeat Magazine. On November 1st, the trumpeter and vocalist (because why master one instrument when you can master two?) returns with her sixth album, Nothing Never Happens, marking the next logical progression in her particular blend of jazz deeply rooted in Dixieland and tradition without ever neglecting her own unique identity as a millennial jazzwoman.
Nothing Never Happens features Skonberg at her best alongside her working band of recent years: pianist Mathis Picard, bassist Devin Starks and drummer Darrian Douglas. Saxophonist Patrick Bartley, Hammond B3 master Jon Cowherd, and guitar great Doug Wamble also make special guest appearances. The album draws deeply from Skonberg’s imaginary with a mix of original compositions and crafty nods to some of her favorite musicians, notably “Blackbird Fantasy”, a mash-up of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and Duke Ellington’s “Black and Tan Fantasy”, Sonny Bono’s “Bang Bang”, whose version by Nancy Sinatra Skonberg discovered via Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, and the album closer, Queen’s “I Want To Break Free”.
“My favorite way to write music is just to sit at a piano, be quiet and wait for things to surface,” she says explaining the album’s title. “I needed to get out and find a space to process the overload of information and feelings because of what’s been going on in the world in the last few years. Just being able to play music right now is essential to getting to a level of normalcy. Playing trumpet really lets me get all those emotions out. It’s not always joyous, but it is a release.”
Get a taste of the album below with our premiere of Skonberg’s newest version of “So Is The Day”, which originally headlined her 2012 album of the same name, a stunning and poignant ballad in which the young star thrusts forward sheer brilliance and heartfelt wistfulness both on trumpet and on vocals. “‘So Is The Day’ is a very special song to me as we have grown together through times of melancholy, frustration, and overcoming obstacles,” she explains. “I hope while listening you will experience the same release I have in performing this song.” Skonberg will also be celebrating the launch of Nothing Never Happens with a three night stint at NYC’s Jazz Standard starting November 1st. Catch her if you can.
Stream Bria Skonberg’s “So Is The Day” from her new album Nothing Never Happens.
Nothing Never Happens, the new record by trumpeter and vocalist Bria Skonberg drops November 1st.
Photo by Dario Acosta.