Anita Eccleston
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Anita Eccleston

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF | AFM

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Jazz Funk




"Jazz Fest’s legacy: Kindling musical dreams for future generations"

At, there is a photo of Anita Eccleston and her sister Liz swinging on the chain at Gassy Jack Square while taking in the 1999 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. The trumpeter/singer now says that coming down from Kamloops to take in the festival was key in shaping her musical dreams.
“When I was 14 I told my dad I wanted to be a professional trumpet player and he drove me to Vancouver to go to Northwest Music to get the horn I’m still playing,” says Eccleston. “I wanted to be the best classical trumpeter, but jazz fest shifted my focus. I’d sit there and soak it all up and dream.”
This year, she plays with the Plastic Acid Orchestra on Friday (Georgia Stage, Vancouver Art Gallery, 7:30 p.m.), and with the Anita Eccleston Trio on Wednesday, July 1 (Granville Island Stage, noon).
It’s a jazz dream come true for the young musician and she credits the Vancouver and Montreal festivals with keeping her fired up through the years: “Playing the festival it’s like moving up another level.”
This sentiment is echoed by former Chilliwack resident, now New York-based rising star trumpeter/singer Bria Skonberg, who performs with the Bria Skonberg Quintet at Performance Works on Friday, June 26, 7 p.m. Skonberg ( hit a homer with her latest CD Into Your Own (Random Act Records).
She joins an impressive number of fellow Capilano University Jazz Studies graduates playing the festival. Skonberg got an early big break receiving an award from the Jazz Fest, Capilano and CBC.
Dal Richards was at the reception ceremony and invited her to join his big band. She stayed for the next four years.
“The Vancouver Jazz Festival has set a standard for musicality that has turned it into something of an annual goal for local players to aspire to,” says Skonberg. “This year is a very special one for me as it’s the first I’ve played since moving to New York, It’s a jazz festival every day there, but I still feel strongly attuned to this one.”
Two-time JUNO Award-winner in both the big band and composer categories, composer/saxophonist Christine Jensen leads her jazz orchestra — featuring sister, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen — at Performance Works on Friday at 7 p.m.
The Jensen sisters hail from the international-jazz-star breeding ground of Nanaimo. Christine says that many critical moments in her creative life were made possible by jazz festivals and the community that they nurture.
“Both the Vancouver and Victoria jazz festivals started up when I was a teenager and they made such a huge impression on me by showing that you could have a showcase for your music,” says Christine. “I was able to see Bobby McFerrin when he was breaking, drummer Tony Williams, artists of a level you just wouldn’t get without the festivals.
“Marilyn Crispell’s free workshop when I was 17 was pivotal for me making my career choice because she told me ‘you are making music and you need to go out and do it.’ That really was essential in me forging an identity.”
With two weekends of free performances, free shows and ticketed shows running Thursday to July 1, there is no doubt more jazz dreams will be fuelled at the 30th TD Vancouver Interntional Jazz Festival. - THE PROVINCE JUNE 17, 2015 BY STUART DERDEYN

"The Best Local Releases of 2014 - Anita Eccleston - So It Goes"

Anita Eccleston is a classically trained horn player and vocalist. She has dabbled in composing over the years and has put out a CD, which has eleven original compositions on it. She has tried out tunes such as “Scarlet Scribbles” and “Fumbling Forward” on local audiences over the last few years and they have evolved nicely over time. As a trumpet/flugelhorn player, she has taken notice of the work of Chet Baker, among others and has established her own sound. This CD is somewhat of a hybrid between jazz and pop. This makes it accessible to a wider audience. Favorite tracks include “Through It All” which has a big band sound with interesting vocal changes, and the bluesy “Claim on You” which allows Eccleston to showcase her considerable talents on trumpet and another local musician, Kris Ruston adds a fine guitar solo. Eccleston now lives in Vancouver, but visits family and often plays gigs in Kamloops. So It Goes is a jazzy/poppy/soulful mix that should appeal to many. It would be a nice surprise in anyone’s Christmas stocking. - !earshot-online - JIM DUPUIS - CFBX Radio

"`So It Goes`Album Review"

Anita Eccleston is a jazz vocalist and trumpeter who presently calls Vancouver home. She completed her degree in Jazz Performance at McGill University in 2004, returned to the Interior of BC in 2006, and settled in Vancouver in 2011. “So It Goes” is her newest album, and it’s been 3 years in the making. With that much time going into it, you know that this has been a true labour of love, and the love shows in the tracks.

I’ve had the pleasure of hearing her perform live for many a year, and I am also a proud owner of the Anita Eccleston Trio EP and her first solo album, the Anita Eccleston Jazz EP as well, so I came into my sneak peak copy of this new disk with high expectations. And I was totally blown out of the water, which can be hard to do when you have high expectations to begin with.

Firstly, while Anita has done some remarkable work with covering the usual jazz standards as well as putting her own spin on songs by artists like Amy Winehouse, REM, Sarah McLaughlin, and even covering music from Game of Thrones, I really was thrilled to see that all 11 tracks on this album are original songs written by Anita. While she can cover a song you have loved for years and make you fall in love with it all over again, Anita Eccleston can also write a song that instantly locks itself into your list of favourites, and this album has 11 prime examples. Her writing showcases her wonderfully diverse and eclectic musical influences, expertly crossing over from jazz to into pop, rock, R&B, Motown, etc. For example, the album starts off with what initially appears to be a big band swing chart, but then clearly shows how she loves to interweave elements of different genres together into a great grooving tune.

As I said earlier, this is a “sneak peak” copy of the album. If you want your very own copy of the album, which personally I think you should very much want, you can go to her Pledge Music page (think Kickstarter, but just for music) and make a pledge. Every pledge gets you a digital copy of the album, and then depending on what you donate you can get a physical CD, a happy birthday phone call, your own private show, etc. Please click on the link at the end of this review for more information!

Anita’s sultry voice is absolutely captivating throughout this album. She doesn’t just convey the different emotions of the songs, she makes you experience them with her. Her trumpet playing is full of great licks, and really enhances the tracks she plays on. She is also joined by a staggering nineteen(!) additional musicians throughout the album, encompassing saxes, trombones, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, Wurlitzer, and of course the usual guitar, drums, and bass – both electric and upright – all of whom give excellent performances. This is a solid disk, and I’m really loving it! - Musetta Stone - Ryan Noakes

"At Last - Eccleston & Band Welcome CBC with Show Taped for Hot Air"

If you're Canadian and a jazz fan, there's a good chance you've listened to CBC Radio's long-running program Hot Air.

The show has celebrated all things jazz since 1947. And, for as long as Kamloops-born jazz musician Anita Eccleston can remember, she's tuned in.

As Eccleston's musical career took off — she released her first solo album earlier this year — her one desire has been to have her music played on Hot Air.

"I remember saying to myself a couple of years ago that, if I could get my music on the CBC, I'd really be going in the right direction," Eccleston told The Daily News during a phone interview from her Vancouver home. "It would be the next plateau."

That plateau will be reached Tuesday when Eccleston and her jazz quartet perform at an opening party for the CBC's new Kamloops bureau.

The celebration takes place at the Parkside Lounge in the Interior Savings Centre. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the Anita Eccleston Quartet take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Much to Eccleston's delight, the concert is being recorded for an upcoming episode of Hot Air.

"It's like a dream," said an excited Eccleston.

The concert is open to the public and free, but anyone planning to attend should email and put Hot Air in Kamloops in the subject. Eccleston suggested including the number of people who want to attend in the body of the email.

"They told me, the more the merrier," she said.

The Hi-Fi Quartet out of Victoria will also perform.

Eccleston developed a passion for music while a student at Westsyde secondary and performed trumpet with the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra. - Kamloops Daily News

"CD Launch Promises To Set Night On Fire"

For the launch of her first album, Anita Eccleston promises she and her quartet will literally set the night on fire with a mix of traditional jazz riffs and modern beats.

“When people think jazz, they often think it’s this complex, hard-to-listen-to mix. Not when I do it,” Eccleston said Monday. “It’s fun and it’s interactive and it’s easy to listen to.”

And Eccleston, who studied music at McGill University, expects to have a packed house up and dancing when the Anita Eccleston Quartet performs at the Westsyde Pump on Saturday night.

Between songs, Amanda Buder-Eccleston will perform Poi fire spinning and fire fan dance outside the pub, adding a visual element to the evening.

“The concept of the show is jazz on fire. You take the concept of traditional jazz and you set it on fire,” she said.

Eccleston recently released her first album, the Anita Eccleston Jazz EP, in Vancouver. But, having grown up in Kamloops, she wanted to host a special bash in her hometown.

No stranger to the local music scene — she developed a passion for music while a student at Westsyde secondary and performed with the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra — Eccleston will pay tribute to the standards that bring jazz to life while infusing the music with her own unique touches.

Her style of jazz is traditional yet boundary pushing, she said, adding it incorporates elements of blues, reggae and disco.

“It’s classy and fun,” said Eccleston.

Recording an album is a long, hard process. The Anita Eccleston Jazz EP was recorded during three separate session in Montreal and at Small World Studios in Kamloops.

“Think vocal jazz. It’s more like Billie Holiday and Sarah Vaughn, with trumpet of course,” said Eccleston, a trumpeter

The recording was completed in May, but it took several more months to put the seven-track CD together. In the meantime, Eccleston has been hard at work on a nine- or 10-song follow-up album she hopes to release later this year.

“You aim for something but, when you put a date on it, it’s not usually ready for months later,” she said of the process.

Copies of the Anita Eccleston Jazz EP will sell for $10 at the Pump on Saturday night. Eccleston promises the show won’t begin until after the Vancouver Canucks game.

“I’ll be there watching the third period,” she said.

March 20, 2012

By Jason Hewlett
Daily News Staff Reporter - The Kamloops Daily News

"Anita Eccleston Jazz EP Review"

Anita Eccleston Trio

They must be doing something right in the music program at McGill University in Montreal. The Jensen sisters, Ingrid and Christine, finished their studies at McGill and now another young woman from B.C., Anita Eccleston, who graduated from McGill is out to make her mark on the music scene in Canada. She has been part of the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra as a trumpet player and has been a lead vocalist and/or horn player in a variety of other bands encompassing big band, jazz and rock in Kamloops, BC. She recently moved to Vancouver and has now released her Jazz EP. It really is more than an EP and at around 33 minutes, there is more music here than there is on many pop CDs. Essentially, Eccleston has included recordings she has made over the last seven years with a variety of jazz groups. The constant, on every track, is that there is an electric guitar and a young man who knows how to play it and, of course Eccleston’s pretty voice. The arrangements are well thought out. Specifically, the jazzy arrangement of James Taylor’s “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” is positively inspiring!
Eccleston shows off her trumpet and flugelhorn prowess on three of the tracks. On Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington’s “The Nearness of You” she plays a beautiful flugelhorn solo. She also plays a haunting trumpet intro on the opening track “Black Coffee.” I’m glad she chose to use the trumpet again on “My Funny Valentine” as that was the signature tune of horn player Chet Baker.
This Jazz EP is essentially an album of classic jazz standards, where Eccleston showcases a captivating voice that can tug on your heart strings. She shows exquisite phrasing on a number of tracks and she doesn’t just play it safe. She really shows her stuff on the difficult “Dry Cleaner From Des Moines;” the song that Joni Mitchell recorded on her homage to Charles Mingus.
There are many good musicians providing support on this CD. I was particularly impressed by the interplay of guitarist Matt Warnick and bassist Anna Ruddick on the classic “Summertime.” Also, Vancouver’s Chris Gestrin did a nice job of mastering the various recordings from different sessions.
Fans of classic vocal jazz will definitely enjoy Anita Eccleston’s Jazz EP.
For more info go to

By Jim Dupuis
Nov 19, 2011 - !earshot online

"Classics 'n' Jazz Combo"

Mixing classical and jazz, community orchestra’s spring concert features arrangements and trumpeting of Anita Eccleston

April 28, 2011

Daily News Staff Reporter

Families are a big part of musical life and community orchestras, no less so with Thompson Valley Community Orchestra.

First there was conductor Norris Berg, joined by his wife, pianist Heather Berg, and their daughter, violinist Anita Berg Pratt, mainstays since Norris founded the orchestra back in the ’90s.

In recent seasons, the Ecclestons have joined the 50-member, all-ages orchestra. Paulette plays percussion while her husband, Tom, plucks away at string bass, occasionally picking up a saxophone, his principal instrument.

The Eccleston dynamic adds another dimension next Saturday, May 7, as the TVCO presents its annual spring concert, Classics ’n’ Jazz. Anita Eccleston, second trumpet with the Kamloops Symphony, is a natural fit for the theme, having embraced classical music and jazz.

“We wanted a jazz theme, and Anita seemed to fit for it,” Norris said. “We prefer to feature local musicians whenever we can.”

As guest artist, Anita contributes two of her own jazz-standard arrangements to the program — These Foolish Things and My Funny Valentine.

“They’re originals I’ve created, basically for large and small orchestras,” she explained. “It was really an awesome opportunity to work on arranging. I love arranging.”

In her younger years, Anita had the tutelage of music teacher Syd Griffith at Westsyde secondary and studied with KSO music director Bruce Dunn. She obtained a degree in jazz performance at the University of Montreal and played in that city’s vibrant jazz scene for a couple of years before returning home.

Her musical career track reflects the electicism of her interests at this point, including two recordings in the works, a collection of jazz standards and another of originals to be called Clearly Indefinable.

“It’s funny how that goes,” she said. “It’s sort of side-by-side jazz and originals.”

Even the originals CD covers a lot of territory as the title suggests. The jazz recording includes tracks put down at McGill and fresh material featuring local musicians and Anita’s singing.

“We’re doing most of the recording in Kamloops (at Small World Studios) and a couple of sessions on the Coast …. I even had my brother (Tom Jr.) come in and play piano on a few tracks.”

It truly is a small world.

“Kamloops has that kind of energy,”

With so many different projects on the go — arranging, teaching, recording and performing — how does she have time for special projects such as this?

“It’s a Catch-22, but as an artist you have to keep doing it or there’s no enjoyment of the labour.”

Many young artists head for the bright lights of metropolis where greatest opportunity resides.

“I wouldn’t dream of it. It’s tough. It’s a long road, but totally worth it. You’ve got to keep an eye on the goal. That’s why this opportunity with the Thompson Valley Community Orchestra is so great. I love the crowds that come to these shows.”

The concert opens in apropos style — considering the royal wedding — with George Frideric Handel’s overture to Music for the Royal Fireworks. It’s a gentle opening, a wind band suite originally composed to celebrate the end of the War of Austrian Succession.

In contrast, the closing number is Bugler’s Holiday, featuring three trumpet solos by Anita, John Franks and Chelsea Lorence.

“It’s a real sparkling little piece,” Norris said.

Franks and Berg trade places during the show as the trumpeter picks up the baton and the conductor plays violin on Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations IX: Nimrod.

“He was a high school band director for a number of years. He’s very versatile and he’s a fine trumpet player.”

Daughter Anita Berg Pratt will do the violin solo, accompanied by her mother Heather Berg, in Largo In A by Francesco Maria Veracini, an Italian Renaissance composer best known for his violin sonatas.

On the jazz side, the program also includes Chuck Mangione’s The Children of Sanchez, Selections from Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin and a medley from the musical Chicago.

Bassoonist and tuba player Cal Muirhead, the eldest in the orchestra at age 82, has his chance with the conductor’s baton with Satchmo! A Tribute to Louis Armstrong. - The Kamloops Daily News


Jazz EP (November 30, 2011)
Trio EP (January 10, 2013)
So It Goes (LP) (March 30, 2014)



Anita Eccleston is a Kamloops-born, Vancouver-based bandleader; a vocalist and trumpet player performing music that ranges from traditional jazz standards to funk, soul, motown, reggae, blues, pop and originals. Whether she is backed by a large ensemble or small, her sultry, sweet yet bold voice coupled with her lyrical trumpet style, creates a remarkable quality throughout her sound.

In 2011 Eccleston released her debut Jazz EP, a collection of jazz recordings from 2003 to 2010. In 2013 she released a brand new Trio EP amid the final stages of recording her long awaited original LP. Titled So It Goes, the full length original album travels through her eclectic tastes in music with jazz running throughout every vein. It is now available for purchase on her website, on iTunes, Bandcamp and CD Baby, as well as at live performances.

Anita Eccleston embarked on her first tour to Eastern Canada in May 2014. In Summer Anita toured in BC while writing new compositions that ignited her involvement with the Plastic Acid Orchestra for their 2014 Halloween event at Performance Works on Granville Island in Vancouver. Last year Anita's Trio and The Plastic Acid Orchestra performed in the 30th Anniversary TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Anita is currently writing new songs, and will be recording and releasing a new jazz album in June.

Band Members