Current VPA News

The College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music will host New York-based Canadian singer, trumpeter and songwriter Bria Skonberg for a three-day residency Sept. 26-28, presented as part of the Setnor School’s Baker Artists Program.

The residency will culminate with a concert on Friday, Sept. 28, at 8 p.m. in the Rose and Jules R. Setnor Auditorium, Crouse College. The concert is free and open to the public. Skonberg will perform with student jazz ensembles Orange Syndicate, Orange Collective and the Morton Schiff Jazz Ensemble as well as jazz and commercial music faculty from the Setnor School.

Bria Skonberg
Bria Skonberg

Free and accessible concert parking is available in the Q1 lot. Additional parking is available in the Irving Garage. Campus parking availability is subject to change; call 315-443-2191 for current information.

During her residency, Skonberg will also participate in a “Women in Jazz” panel on Thursday, Sept. 27, presented as part of the Setnor School’s Soyars Leadership Lecture Series. The panel will also feature Joyce DiCamillo, Theresa Chen and Melissa Gardiner, and it will be moderated by Randy Henner, Skonberg’s manager.

The panel will be held from 6:30-7:50 p.m. in Room 007, Martin J. Whitman School of Management. The discussion is free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU pay lots.

Skonberg has been described as one of the “most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation” (Wall Street Journal). Recognized as one of “25 for the Future” by DownBeat Magazine, she has been a force in the new generation with her bold horn melodies, smoky vocals and adventurous concoctions of classic and new.

Skonberg signed to Sony Music Masterworks’ OKeh Records in 2016 and released her debut LP, “Bria,” which won a Canadian JUNO award and made the Top 5 on Billboard jazz charts. She collaborated again with producer Matt Pierson, as well as multi-Grammy winner Gil Goldstein, for her second Sony album, “With A Twist,” released in May 2017. Her take on Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love” has garnered more than three million streams.

Noted as a millennial “shaking up the jazz world,” (Vanity Fair), Skonberg has played festivals and stages around the world, including New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Newport Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival and many more. She is an avid educator and supporter of public school opportunities, giving numerous workshops and concerts for students of all ages. She has been a faculty member at the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Camp (2008-present), Centrum Jazz Camp, performs outreach on behalf of Jazz at Lincoln Center and co-founded the New York Hot Jazz Camp for adults and the New York Hot Jazz Festival. Read Skonberg’s full bio.

DiCamillo, pianist and Setnor School alumna, has led her own jazz trio for more than 30 years. As a pianist, she has performed with such jazz greats as James Moody, Phil Woods, Houston Person, Nick Brignola, Marvin Stamm, Urbie Green, Arnie Lawrence, Steve Marcus, Gerry Neiwood, Bob Mintzer, Butch Miles, Andy Fusco, Martin Drew and Marlene VerPlanck. Her trio has released five trio CDs receiving national airplay: “A Touch of Jazz,” “Freelancin’” (featuring tenor saxophonist Person), “Moment to Moment,” “Love Letters” and “Sunrise Lady.”

DiCamillo performs on the Steinway piano and is included on the prestigious international roster of Steinway Artists. She has performed repeat engagements at the Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her trio has headlined at such venues as Southport (UK) Jazz Festival, Guinness Jazz Festival (Cork, Ireland), Andria (Italy) Jazz Festival, Syracuse Jazzfest, the Jazz Cruise and Litchfield Jazz Festival. She appeared on the acclaimed National Public Radio’s “Piano Jazz” hosted by Marian McPartland and has toured as pianist for internationally known pop vocalist Donna Summer. 

DiCamillo is co-founder of SoNYC Media, a digital music start-up that creates and distributes branded entertainment, and is the founder and board chair of Project Music, a public-private partnership using the transformative power of music to effect positive social change for students most in need of access, opportunity and inspiration. Read DiCamillo's full bio.

Chen is a pianist, improviser, accompanist, composer, arranger, educator, a Catholic music minister and a part-time instructor of jazz piano and jazz history at the Setnor School. She has collaborated with many famous jazz artists, including Bill Dobbins, Dave Rivello, Rich Thompson, Charles Pillow, Gary Smulyan, Clay Jenkins, Dave Liebmann and Scott Wendholt. She also played at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, Downstairs Cabaret Theatre, WGMC-Jazz 90.1 radio station and many other prominent jazz venues in Taiwan.

Chen is devoted to a series of performance projects on women jazz pianists, classical music improvisation and free improvisation. Gathering the information around the jazz field, Chen aims at helping Taiwan build a complete and professional jazz educational system. She’s also exploring many different possibilities of sounds through musical experiments and meeting more jazz musicians from different cultural backgrounds. She believes jazz is a free art form that can include multiple cultures within its music. Through her music, Chen hopes to bring love, peace, harmony and warmness to audiences in the present and in the future. Read Chen’s full bio.

Emerging jazz trombonist Gardiner, also a part-time instructor in the Setnor School, has been described by Curtis Fuller as technically creative and emotionally powerful. Her improvisation is inspiring and motivating for the listener, and she draws you in with a raw expression that directly relates to life experience.

Throughout her career Gardiner has worked with several notable musicians, including Aretha Franklin, the Temptations, Geri Allen, Wycliffe Gordon, Steve Turre, Gerald Wilson, Patti Austin, Tia Fuller, Ingrid Jensen, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and Vulfpeck. As a bandleader, she performs regularly with her jazz organ trio, MG3, and the SAMMY Award- winning, New Orleans-style brass band Second Line Syracuse. She is a member of the CNY Jazz Orchestra and frequently joins other local and regional ensembles. Gardiner is active in theater as a pit orchestra musician and has also worked with Carnival Cruise Lines and the Disneyland All-American College Band.

Gardiner teaches the MANOS Makes Music program for dual language preschool students, which focuses on music and movement. Although she is just getting started in the world of music education, she was a finalist for the 2017 Music and Arts Educator of the Year Award. Read Gardiner’s full bio.

The Baker Artists Program creates opportunities for students to connect with renown music professionals through a robust and engaging residency program. Founded in 2013 by a grant from the Dexter F. & Dorothy H. Baker Foundation, the Baker Artists Program brings leading performers, educational scholars, composers and industry leaders to the Setnor School of Music, the Syracuse University campus, and to the larger Syracuse community by providing master classes, lectures and performances.

If you require accommodations to fully participate in these events, please contact Michelle Taylor at 315-443-2191 or mjtaylor@syr.edu one week prior to the event date.

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