About / CV
Ingi Bjarni Skúlason
Ingi Bjarni Skúlason 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 – ideas inspired by relentlessly searching improvisation, as well as the people he interacts with in daily life, and also the wonders of the natural environment.
Embracing the infinitely explorable world of the classic jazz piano trio, Skúlason’s first two major albums – Skarkali (2015) and Fundur (2018) – invited listeners into a realm of spacial freedom and vibrant expression. Tenging (2019) expands horizons further with a sparkling quintet (trumpet, guitar, piano, bass and drums) which weaves even greater textures and possibilities into his increasing musical vision.
Although now clearly an individually-minded musician, it was initially the discovery of Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock that was the epiphany leading Ingi Bjarni Skúlason on his resolute path, attaining a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance at Den Haag, The Netherlands. From there, he went on to achieve a Masters degree in composition from the University of Gothenburg, with exchange semesters in Copenhagen and Oslo. Tutors and mentors have included Misha Alperin, Anders Jormin, Helge Lien, Aaron Parks, Eyolf Dale, Eric Gieben, Agnar Már Magnússon and Helge Sunde; and as a bandleader, Skúlason has performed at jazz festivals in Bremen (jazzahead), Hamburg (Elbjazz), Lillehammer, Vilnius, Copenhagen, Reykjavík and the Faroe Islands.
In Spring 2020 he received five nominations for the Icelandic Music Awards for his quintet recording Tenging, and was awarded as the most promising Icelandic jazz artist.
EDUCATION AND QUALIFICATIONS
2016 – 2018: Masters education programme, ‘Nordic Master – The Composing Musician’, from Högskolan för scen och musik, Gothenburg, with two exchange semesters – one in Rytmisk Musikkonservatorium, Copenhagen, and the other in Norges Musikkhøgskole, Oslo.
2012-2016: Bachelor in Jazz Performance from Koninklijk Conservatorium in Den Haag, The Netherlands.
2005-2011: F.Í.H. School of Music, Reykjavík, Iceland – with one exchange semester in Musikhögskolan Ingesund, Sweden (2010).
TUTORS AND MENTORS
Anders Jormin, Mikhail Alperin, Aaron Parks, Helge Lien, Simon Toldam, Nikolaj Hess, Jasper Soffers, Eyolf Dale, Juraj Stanik, Anders Persson, Hanne Boel, Maria Laurette Friis, Eric Gieben, Helge Sunde, Eyþór Gunnarson, Daniel Nolgård, Agnar Már Magnússon, Vignir Þór Stefánsson
• Timani Introductory Course, Oslo (2017)
• RMC Jazz Summer Camp (2017)
• Berklee at Umbria Jazz Festival (2009)
• Lecture about flow at Iceland Academy of Arts (4th of September 2020)
• Listaskóli Mosfellsbæjar – jazz piano teacher (2018 – present)
• F.Í.H. School of Music – jazz piano teacher (2019 – present)
• Tónlistarskóli Kópavogs – jazz piano teacher (2018 – 2019)
• Private piano students – since 2013
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS
• Award for Icelandic Music Prize as the most promising jazz artist (2020)
• Five nominations for Icelandic Music Awards for Tenging (2019)
• Ingi Bjarni Trio – nomination for Icelandic Music Awards as jazz performer of the year (2018)
• Märta, Sten och Stellan Hähnels minnesfond (2017)
• Nomination for Icelandic Music Prize as the most promising jazz artist (2014)
• Award for outstanding musicianship at Berklee Summer School in Umbria (2009)
• Most promising keyboard player at Músíktilraunir (2007)
“Tenging is a highly accomplished work of art that flows with ease and coherence….Ingi Bjarni is deserving of wide recognition for his skills as a composer as well as his perceptive piano playing.”
All About Jazz
“Preconceptions happily disintegrate as this nine-track session unfolds, offering a measured blend of folksy, tuneful
accessibility and sparky, creative unpredictability.”
London Jazz News
“a suite of genre-bridging music of captivating poetic ambience, rooted in an overall subtlety of melodic figure and rhythmic interaction….A distinctive and rewarding album, which impresses more and more with each hearing.”