The opening day of Reykjavík Jazz 2020 marks the birthday of alto saxophone player and jazz legend Charlie Parker. Considered by most a trailblazer for modern jazz music, Parker was born on August 29th 1920, exactly 100 years ago. To celebrate his birthday, a tribute concert will take at Harpa where local altoist par excellance, Sigurður Flosason, will lead musicians at the forefront of Icelandic jazz- and classical genres in a performance of tunes from the master’s two legendary “Charlie Parker with Strings” albums from 1950. These records were Parker’s most popular sellers during his lifetime, and were admitted to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1988.
These records were loved by many but to some the arrangements sounded corny and untasteful. Today though, these records are considered to be masterpieces. Charlie Parker was enthusiastic about classical music and kept up to date on developments within that genre. He had wanted to record with strings for a long time and eventually was able to convince his record company to support him in doing so.
Sigurður Flosason: alto saxophone
Anna Gréta Sigurðardóttir: piano
Johan Tengholm: double bass
Einar Scheving: drums
Peter Tompkins: oboe, English horn
Matthías Stefánsson: violin
Margrét Þorsteinsdóttir: violin
Eyjólfur Alfreðsson: viola
Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir: cello
In 2014 the bass-player/composer Tómas R. Einarsson performed his Latin music with a 9 piece orchestra in his hometown Búðardalur. This concert became a part of the documentary Latin Viking which was premiered in 2015. The film tells the story of Einarsson who grew up in the rural area of Dalir and unexpectedly became one of the most prolific composers of Icelandic jazz. His Latin music, recorded in Reykjavik and Havana, has been included in international compilations as well as being remixed and arranged for big-bands. At the Reykjavik Jazz Festival his band will play a selection of his most popular Latin tunes.
Tómas R. Einarsson: double bass
Kjartan Hákonarson: trumpet
Óskar Guðjónsson: tenor saxphone
Samúel Jón Samúelsson: trombone
Ómar Guðjónsson: guitar
Davíð Þór Jónsson: piano
Matthías MD Hemstock: drums, percussion
Sigtryggur Baldursson: congas
Sigríður Thorlacius: vocals
Bógómíl Font: vocals
Since it’s formation in 2014 electric jazz group Annes has released two award winning albums “Annes” (2015) and “Frost” (2017). The group’s material reflects the psychological influence of the northern weather climate and the musical narrative ranges from environmental awareness to political satire. Although the music is well grounded in the jazz tradition, it is a melting pot of various influences, a result of the often great difference between individual members of the band.
Ari Bragi Kárason: trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboards
Jóel Pálsson: saxophone
Guðmundur Pétursson: guitar
Eyþór Gunnarsson: piano og keyboards
Einar Scheving: drums