Ingi Bjarni is a pianist and composer born in Reykjavík, Iceland. As a pianist he has developed a personal style and sound at the piano. Ingi Bjarni composes and play his own kind of folk music with the freedom of expressiveness and space for free improvisation. His melodies are often simple but effective over harmonies based on things and people in his life. His compositions reflect the various influences he has had in his career as a musician. Nordic folk music, electronic music and jazz tradition are among these influences.
Excerpts from reviews about his debut album, Skarkali:
“His playing is clear and crisp, with each note given deep meaning. Bobo Stenson comes naturally to mind in the space given each note. This deep, clear sound is echoed by the harmonies chosen, which sound simple, but are full of ambiguity. Although his music is highly emotional, it is constrained by a deep intelligence which produces a wonderful sense of playful control.” – All About Jazz
“Skarkali carries a depth of invention, verve and delicacy which sets it apart from any run-of-the-mill piano trio expectation. Preconceptions happily disintegrate as this nine-track session unfolds, offering a measured blend of folksy, tuneful accessibility and sparky, creative unpredictability.” – London Jazz News
As a bandleader, Ingi Bjarni has played his own compositions and arrangements with a number of people both in Iceland and elsewhere in Europe.
Some performance highlights:
– Performed at: Reykjavík Jazz Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Jazz in Duketown, Vilnius Jazz Festival and Lillehammer Jazz Festival.
– Represented Iceland with Skarkali at Young Nordic Jazz Comets 2013 in Trondheim.
– Toured the Faroe Islands, Estonia, Latvia, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium and Iceland ofcourse.
He has also performed all kinds of musical genres in projects other than his own.
In addition to being an active performer, he has worked as a part-time piano teacher and accompanist.
Ingi Bjarni studied jazz-piano at FÍH Music School (Reykjavík, Iceland) later he finished his Bachelor degree in jazz-piano playing from the Royal Conservatory in Hague (Netherlands). Currently he is enrolled in a master programme called Nordic Master: The Composing Musician, which takes place in Gothenburg, Copenhagen and Oslo. He has had lessons with Mikhail Alperin, Anders Jormin, Simon Toldam, Helge Lien, Aaron Parks and others.
“The jury believes that makes Ingi Bjarni remarkable compositions.
In addition, the group sound is beautiful and the interplay is well matched.
It is worth mentioning that Ingi Bjarni plays original solos.” – Leiden Jazz Award 2014
Translated excerpt from a Polish review:
“Skarkali is filled with an emotional tone and spacious, relaxed sound while also being firm and clear. The musical magic contained on the album makes it extremely pleasant to listen to. Skarkali is a very good contemporary jazz album!” – Stacja Islandia (eng. Iceland Station)
„Stylish controlled unit worthy of many listens.“
– www.allaboutjazz.com (editor’s comment on a free download of one of the tunes on Skarkali.)
Awards and nominations:
– In 2014 Ingi Bjarni was nominated for the Icelandic Music Prize as the most promising jazz artist in Iceland.
– An award for outstanding musicianship at Berklee Summer School in Umbria 2009
– Most promising keyboard player at Músíktilraunir 2007 (Battle of the bands)
Eyjafjalla Experience – The Holland Sessions (2013)
Silfurberg – Skandimanía (2010)
Arrangements of Nordic folk songs. Available on Spotify