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Ingi Bjarni Skúlason

Ingi Bjarni Skúlason is an Icelandic pianist/composer of considerable distinction and finesse, creatively seeking to shun boundaries in style or genre. He builds collaborations that challenge and excite, including projects with friends and colleagues in the Scandinavian countries he has lived in. His works are informed by jazz tradition, Nordic folksong and electronica. His own folk music of sorts.

His first two albums – Skarkali (2015) and Fundur (2018) – invited listeners into spacial freedom and vibrant expression of a piano trio. Tenging (2019) expands horizons further with a sparkling quintet (trumpet, guitar, piano, bass and drums). Lessons (2021) is a solo piano album with piano music in an undefined style. In the upcoming quintet album Farfuglar (2023), his quintet’s collective impressions of flight and abandon positively connect us with a panoply of atmospheres from which to soar in our imaginations.

Ingi Bjarni attained a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance at Den Haag, The Netherlands. From there, he went on to achieve a Master’s 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 the Spring of 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.

ALBUM RELEASES

Farfuglar (TO BE RELEASED IN 2023) –  quintet
Lessons (2021) –  solo piano
Tenging (2019) – quintet
Fundur (2018) – piano trio
Skarkali (2015) – piano trio

PUBLICATIONS

Lessons (2021) –  sheet music
Innsæi (2018) –  master thesis 

PROJECTS, RESIDENCIES AND COLLABORATIONS

Residency at Skrova Fyr (September 2022)
In Duo With (2020 – 2021)
Daily Improv (April 2021)
MCN Jazz Residency (2019)
Eyjafjalla Experience (2011 – 2013)
Silfurberg (2010)

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.

MUSIC COURSES

• Timani Introductory Course, Oslo (2017)
• RMC Jazz Summer Camp (2017)
• Berklee at Umbria Jazz Festival (2009)

TEACHING

• Iceland Academy of Arts – guest teacher in project week (September 2022)
• F.Í.H. School of Music – jazz piano teacher (2019 – present)
• Iceland Academy of Arts – Lecture about flow (September 2020)
• Listaskóli Mosfellsbæjar – jazz piano teacher (2018 – 2022)
• Tónlistarskóli Kópavogs – jazz piano teacher (2018 – 2019)
• Private piano students – on and off since 2013
• Tónlistarskólinn á Akranesi – accompanist (2011)

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.”
Jazz Journal

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