New Jersey Jazz Society to Welcome Bria Skonberg and Tia Fuller to MPAC, 3/30
Trumpeter/vocalist Bria Skonberg was inspired by Louis Armstrong. Alto saxophonist Tia Fuller was influenced by Cannonball Adderley. On Sunday, March 30 at 3 pm, at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, they will present a groundbreaking concert with no musical borders in a concert presented by the New Jersey Jazz Society. Tickets are $20.
When Newport Jazz Festival founder George Wein first heard Skonberg, he recalled, "I could not believe what I heard. She is very special." The Wall Street Journal's Will Friedwald wrote that Skonberg "plays trumpet like a red hot devil, and sings like a dream." As for Fuller, allaboutjazz.com says she is "one of the finest new musicians on the scene." And The New York Times' Ben Ratliff calls her "a hard-core bebopper, a Charlie Parker to Cannonball Adderley kind of player."
The rest of the band will include two members of Skonberg's regular quartet, pianist Dalton Ridenhour and drummer Darrian Douglas. Rounding out the rhythm section will be a special guest, bassist/vocalist Nicki Parrott, who played bass with the late guitarist Les Paul's regular Monday night band at the Iridium Jazz Club in New York. Paul was impressed by Parrott's vocal talents, and, according to NPR Music's Grant Jackson, "she's emerged as a fine singer and award-winning composer who's recorded several of her own albums and appeared on dozens of records by other artists."
Skonberg and Fuller met as members of trumpeter Nicholas Payton's big band, and Fuller recently hired Skonberg to be part of the horn section with drummer Terri-Lynn Carrington for a concert honoring the International Sweethearts of Rhythm and Chaka Khan. Fuller is also part of the all-female live band that backs up Beyonce.
The Mayo concert, Skonberg says, will be "a blending of styles and personalities from two different backgrounds. We've only played in group situations, so this will be the first time playing in a small band together, and, with that, comes the trading of ideas. It'll be mostly spontaneous. If you need to categorize it, it would sound like a 'mainstream' jazz quintet. I really like the era of swing that was happening parallel to the bop movement in the '40s. I'm focusing on original compositions these days, and I'll ask Tia to share some, too. And, in recognition of Women's History Month, we'll be highlighting some key female artists of the past. So, the sky's the limit!"
Skonberg's most recent CD was So This is the Day (Random Act Records: 2012), but she will soon will be releasing a new Random Act album and will playing some selections from it at the concert. Allaboutjazz.com's Nicholas Mondello, wrote that So This is the Day, "while tipping a hat to tradition, appropriately pushes Bria Skonberg to the forefront of today's musical talents. She has it all -- so does this superb recording." Fuller's latest CD is Angelic Warrior (Mack Avenue: 2012). The Washington Post's Jess Righthand described it as "indisputably jazz, but she blends old and new by adding pop elements to the album's only two jazz standards, 'Body and Soul' and 'Cherokee'. The 'Body and Soul' remix, she hopes, will give popular audiences a new way to relate to her music."
Mayo Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich, and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey. The 2013-2014 season is made possible, in part, by a grant the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as support received from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, F.M. Kirby Foundation and numerous corporations, foundations and individuals. The Mayo Performing Arts Center has been designated a Major Presenting Organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.