Buy a Record, Make a Difference 16: Anita Eccleston

Buy a Record, Make a Difference is a new series we have created to help local musicians generate income during COVID-19. It is based on the principle that we should support and reward the hard work local artists have already put into recordings, as it is an immensely difficult undertaking to be creating new material under current circumstances. There is currently a lot of emphasis on livestreaming and innovation in our industry, and while those things absolutely have their place, we think it’s also important to boost projects that have already been completed.

In each post, we’ll ask a local artist a series of the same questions, give them the opportunity to talk about recordings they’re proud of, and ask them to talk about other local musicians whose work they admire. It’s our hope that you’ll take the time to listen to & purchase the work of local artists, or at the very least share their work with others.


Photo: Tamea Burd
1. Who are you? 

I am a jazz vocalist, trumpeter, bandleader, songwriter and educator. After my jazz studies at McGill, I returned to BC to my hometown of Kamloops, where I further honed my craft and began cultivating repertoire before moving to Vancouver in 2011.

In addition to my solo jazz project, I’ve been fortunate enough over the years to play in a wide array of ensembles. From classical orchestras, to rock bands, my trumpet has helped me find a home in so many diverse musical scenarios. Most recently I’ve been playing with an all-female Mariachi band (Las Estrellas de Vancouver). 

My hobbies are hanging out with my bearded dragon, gardening, listening to music, podcasts, and reading. 

2. Describe your music as best you can.

I love performing jazz in traditional ways, although I tend to write more eclectic music. The music I consume is wide ranging so my performances and recordings reflect this diversity, while retaining the pulse of jazz throughout. My voice, whether singing or playing is imbued with the influences I’ve drawn from, most especially Amy Winehouse, Miles Davis, Chet Baker and Billie Holiday. 

When hearing me play live you can expect a carefully crafted show mixing original material with choice covers from the jazz canon, and many genres like soul, funk, blues and pop. 

I am currently writing music for both my solo project as well as for Girl A Girl B, formed last summer with my twin sister, oboist Elizabeth Eccleston and cellist Doug Gorkoff. This collaboration has led us to create unique arrangements of 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s pop songs, wrapped up in twin vocal harmonies and electric ukulele.   

3. What’s your latest recording (or a recording you’d like to promote)? Where can people get it?

I made an album of jazz standards called More Trumpet. I wanted to create a sweet straight ahead record that people could enjoy over dinner or drinks, in the garden or in the car. My trio brings together Graham Clark on upright bass, guitarist and vocalist Andrew R. Smith (Sweetpea Swing Band), and guesting on several tracks, Doug Gorkoff (Black Dog String Quartet) on cello. 

The title was kind of a joke at first. I am often cheering “MORE TRUMPET!” at concerts, believing everybody needs a little more trumpet in their lives. It still seemed apt after we finished recording, especially since this album features more trumpet than my previous offerings, so we kept it. 

My first full length release is an original album called So It Goes. It is a collection of songs written over the course of 10 years and released in 2014. The album features 21 musicians over 11 tracks — a patchwork quilt produced while cutting my teeth at songwriting and collaborating. 

More Trumpet and So It Goes are available for digital download or on CD on my website as well as on all online platforms (Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music).

4. Is there another local musician whose work you’d like to give a shout out to? 

Here’s a whole hearted shoutout to my friend Sam Davidson, an incredible composer, clarinetist and EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) player. He plays an integral role with the band Brasstronaut, and his solo project is called Skim Milk, where he produces original instrumental music using sound samples, keyboards and even his bass clarinet. I’d call it “ambient lounge contemplative”. His music can be found here on bandcamp.