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Dalalæða / Unnur Birna & Bjössi Thor

Reykjavík Jazz 2020

Dalæða at 20:00 in Kaldalón

At the anniversary of the Reykjavik Jazz Festival, the band Dalalæða will play a debut concert of a musical composition that blends together doom-jazz with the ancient tradition of Icelandic ‘rímur’, where words will be spoken instead of sung. The music is characterized by minimalism and slow progression where an attempt is made to break out of the structure of the modes of major and minor scales. The traditional piano trio will be mixed with neo-classical textures of a bass clarinet, electronic hiss and field-recordings from the Icelandic nature and urban areas. The poetry and the music are inspired by Icelandic history where the members dived into old references from the research project Dysjar hinna dæmdu (e. Cairns of the Condemned), that has investigated executions in Iceland from 1550-1830.

The members of Dalalæða have been very active in the Icelandic music scene in bands such as amiina, Hjálmar, Móses Hightower, Epic Rain, The Ghost Choir, ADHD, Samúels Jón Samúelsson Big Band, Flís, Stórsveit Reykjavíkur and Annes.


Hannes Helgason: piano
Jóel Pálsson: bass clarinet, kontrabass clarinet, sopran saxophone
Jóhannes Birgir Pálmason: poetry and spoken words, sampling
Magnús Trygvason Eliassen: drums
Valdimar Kolbeinn Sigurjónsson: double bass

Unnur Birna & Bjössi Thor at 21:15 in Kaldalón

Unnur Birna and Björn Thor put together their band in 2018 and hit the road immediately with a series of well received concerts around Iceland. The repertoire is comprised of their favourite songs and showcases their talent in a tasteful manner. Accompanying them are two excellent musicians, Skúli Gíslason on drums and Sigurgeir Skafti Flosason on bass. While providing a tight foundation to the music they do not shy away when called to the spotlight, both being outstanding soloists.

With all members having a diverse and well trained musical background, together they spin jazz, rock, pop and blues into colourful yarn with a classical silver lining resulting in a rich tapestry of music that leaves the audience delighted and wanting more.


Unnur Birna: söngur og fiðla
Björn Thoroddsen: gítar
Sigurgeir Skafti Flosason: bassi
Skúli Gíslason: trommur