For 14 years, the Nordic Embassies in Washington, D.C. have showcased top jazz artists from Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. This year was no different, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Nordic Jazz 2020 was online.
The Embassy of Iceland presented Icelandic pianist Ingi Bjarni with his Quintet.
Ingi Bjarni is a pianist/composer of considerable distinction and finesse, creatively seeking to shun boundaries in style or genre. Across our forever-united European musical landscape, he builds collaborations that challenge and excite, including projects with friends and colleagues in the Scandinavian countries he has lived in and whose open, artistic culture is closely entwined with that of his Icelandic homeland. This singular musician’s focus produces original works which, while informed by jazz tradition, Nordic folksong and electronica, rise up from a wellspring of meticulously-shaped imaginings.
In the concert, Ingi Bjarni brings together artists and friends from his longtime association with Scandinavia, in a quintet consisting of Norwegian trumpeter Jakob Eri Myhre, Estonian guitarist Merje Kägu, Swedish double bassist Daniel Andersson and Norwegian drummer Tore Ljøkelsøy. Their album, Tenging (Icelandic for ‘connection’) references to Ingi Bjarni‘s personal discovery of his inner musicality through the exploration of flow, freedom, confidence and, most pertinently, intuition. It expands the textural palette of his previous, well-received piano trio albums, Skarkali (2015) and Fundur (2018).
The concerts can all be viewed on: https://bit.ly/2VkP5ED