As Summer 2017 draws to an end, we look back on a prolific four months of album releases featuring female brass musicians. With music including classical, jazz, and mariachi, this summer’s albums have something to offer for everyone.
NB: If you or a friend released an album this summer and we missed it, let us know in the comments!
May 5: Audrey Ochoa Trio – Afterthought
Audrey Ochoa is one of Edmonton [Canada]’s most prolific trombone players, playing Jazz, Rock, Pop, Latin, Punk, Ska and whatever other genre will have her.
Audrey released her debut album in 2014, “Trombone and Other Delights” which spent several consecutive months on the !Earshot! Jazz Charts, eventually earning the #5 spot on the annual top 10 for 2014. Most recently, Audrey has completed her second album with her trio “Afterthought.” The new album features her own compositions performed by herself and two of Edmonton’s finest, Mike Lent and Sandro Dominelli. Lending his mixing talents to the trio will Battery Poacher (Dallas Budd), who will be adding the sounds of psychadelia, hip hop and house to this otherwise bare bones trio of Bass, Drums and Trombone.
May 19: Bria Skonberg – With A Twist
“The euphoric buzz of New York, over cocktails on the edge of evening, alive with possibilities…anything goes. Vocalist, trumpeter and songwriter Bria Skonberg re-imagines it all on her new OKeh/Masterworks album, With a Twist. Coming off a recent Juno Award (Canada’s version of The Grammys) for her first OKeh collection, Bria, Skonberg spins her cool and confident vocal style—and her sleek and timeless jazz chops—into a program that playfully nods to tradition while always looking ahead.
Of the mood she was going after on With a Twist Skonberg says: ‘The inspiration was love and adventure, and the many twists and turns and tunnels you can get into. It’s a little about my time in New York, a little bit of cocktail culture. The musical inspiration was a modern-day Esquivel, Perez Prado, maybe some Spike Jones. It’s just important to me to put some love and positivity out into the world right now.'”
“Hailed by The Wall Street Journal as one of the “most versatile and imposing musicians of her generation,” Bria Skonberg was recognized last summer as one of “25 for the Future” by DownBeat magazine and Vanity Fair cited her
as a Millennial “Shaking Up the Jazz World.” Skonberg is a self-described “small town girl” from Chilliwack, British Columbia, who hightailed it to Vancouver straight out of high school and earned a degree in Jazz Trumpet Performance. To date, she has performed at some 100 festivals worldwide. She is the co-founder of the New York Hot Jazz Camp and New York Hot Jazz Festival. Further accolades include her recent 2017 Juno win for Vocal Jazz Album of The Year for Bria, Best Vocal and Best Trumpet awards from Hot House Jazz Magazine (2014-15), Outstanding Jazz Artist at the New York Bistro Awards (2014), DownBeat Rising Star (2013-15), and a nominee for Jazz Journalists’ Association Up and Coming Artist (2013).”
May 26: Mariachi Flor de Toloache – Las Caras Lindas
“Latin Grammy Nominees Mariachi Flor de Toloache make New York City history as its’ First and Only All-Women Mariachi Group. Founded in 2008, Mariachi Flor de Toloache is lead by singers Mireya I. Ramos (founder) & Shae Fiol (original member). Reminiscent of the early days of mariachi the group started as a trio, Harp, Violin and Vihuela. Today, Mariachi Flor De Toloache performs as a full Mariachi ensemble. The members hail from diverse cultural backgrounds such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Australia, Colombia, Germany, Italy and the United States. This defines their unique flavor and sound. The result of this cultural bouquet is an edgy, versatile and fresh take on traditional Mexican music. They coalesce as would a band of sisters, with a grace and vibrant beauty that casts a spell over their audiences not unlike the legendary Toloache flower still being used in Mexico as a love potion. While working to preserve centuries old traditions of Mariachi, their melange of the traditional and the modern pushes the boundaries of the genre and brings Mariachi music to new audiences.”
June 5: Natalie Mannix – Breaking Ground – A Celebration of Women Composers: Music for Trombone and Piano
“Natalie Mannix, principal trombonist of the Delaware Symphony, is an avid soloist, chamber musician, orchestral performer and educator. In fall of 2016 she began her current position as Assistant Professor of Trombone at the University of North Texas after teaching 8 years at Towson University in Baltimore. Previously, she was a member of the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC for over 9 years where she performed with the brass quintet, concert and ceremonial band.”
“Recorded from 2015-2017, Breaking Ground: A Celebration of Women Composers is [Mannix’s] first solo CD. Featuring the music of American Women, these pieces span the last 60 years and have never been recorded before. Available at MSR Classics, Amazon and iTunes. Also featuring, Stephanie Bruning, piano; Tony Baker, Steve Menard, Chris Sharpe, trombones.”
June 15: Audrey Flores – Audrey Flores, Horn
“Audrey Flores is a freelancing horn player in New York City. She attended the Juilliard School and the Mannes College of Music, and regularly plays in Broadway productions and with orchestras in the tri-state area. She plays a 2007 Engelbert Schmid Triple Horn with a medium hand-hammered bell that was also made in 2007, purchased brand new from The Horn Guys in Los Angeles in 2008.
Formerly Principal Horn of both the Allentown Symphony and Symphony in C in Camden, NJ, Audrey has also played with the New World Symphony, the Miami Symphony Orchestra, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, the Mariinsky Orchestra, and the Orpheus Chamber Ensemble. She was a musician in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Orchestra in 2011 and 2012, and in the New York Spectacular in the summer of 2016. She released her first solo album in June of 2017.”
Audrey’s new album includes a recording of Barbara York’s fabulous Horn Sonata, in addition to Gliere’s Four Pieces, Op. 35; Krol’s Laudatio and Otto Ketting’s Intrada; and Madsen’s Horn Sonata.
August 18: Belfiato Quintet – Music for Wind Instruments
“The Belfiato Quintet is formed by students of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Founded in 2005, the ensemble studied at the Prague Concervatory from 2007 to 2009 in the class of Ondrej Roskovec (Czech Philharmonic, Afflatus Quintet). Subsequently, Belfiato cooperated with Prof. Stepan Koutnik (Academy of Performing Arts in Prague) and Prof. Gottfried Pokorny (Universität für Musik und Darstellende Künst Wien).
Members of Belfiato Quintet play in leading Czech and international symphonic orchestras, such as the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, PKF -Prague Philharmonia, Czech National Theatre, or The Philharmonia Orchestra London. They have been awarded prizes on numerous international competitions, among them the ARD Munich, Prague Spring Competition or Concertino Praga.”
The quintet performs primarily Czech music. Consequently, the group’s debut album features the works of prominent Czech composers. Recorded in a church in Prague, the album contains works by Leoš Janáček, Pavel Haas, and Josef Foerster.
August 29 (Today!): Rachel Therrien Quintet – Why Don’t You Try (WDYT)
“Newly Brooklyn-based, trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Rachel Therrien already boasts an enviable CV. Known for her very personal signature, she has developed a reputation as a highly-skilled, versatile and creative artist. Winner of the 2015 TD Grand Prize Jazz Award at the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the 2016 Stingray Jazz Rising Star Award, where she presented her second album Home Inspiration, ‘an emotionally charged show filled improv and exceptional musical orchestration’ -FIJM.”