Sunna Gunnlaugs

Performer of the year, another album and a movie

March 18, 2016 6:12 pm | Filed under: Music,Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Time sure flies when you're having fun. My trio released Cielito Lindo last August and we just returned from some concerts in Europe. While we were there we were thrilled to receive the news that we got awarded "Best Performer" at the Icelandic Music Awards.

In January I released my first duo album with dutch bass clarinetist Maarten Ornstein. We met on Twitter (no kidding) and we just hit it off. He came to Iceland for some gigs and I went to Holland for some gigs and now we have this album together called Unspoken. We had our CD Release performance at the wonderful Bimhuis in Amsterdam and soon we will post some videos from there.

I am also proud to announce that my first movie score is out. The movie "Reykjavik" just hit the theaters last Friday and the music that I scored for a jazz quartet is available for "pay-what-you-want" for limited time here. We even do a take on Beethoven.

I post much more frequently on our page on Facebook so go there to see some photos from the road

New Album Up For Pre-Order

July 29, 2015 9:25 pm | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Hi everyone. My new album "Cielito Lindo" is available for pre-order. It will be released at the Reykjavik Jazz Festival on August 14th, but if you reserve your copy now you can download three tracks today.

And when the album is released your copy will be shipped and/or you will get an email prompting you to download the rest of the tracks (plus two bonus "spins").

Although we recorded this in early June, the album was actually a long time in the works. We have been accumulating material for a while and in fact one of Scott's tunes "All Agaze" dates back to 1997 which he wrote on my old baby grand while visiting Iceland. We also had difficulty finding a place to record as the room where we recorded "Distilled" was being worked on. We went back to Salurinn in Kópavogur which is a beautiful concert hall with an incredible Bosendorfer. That's where we recorded "Long Pair Bond."

All three of us (Toggi, Scott and myself) contributed compositions and we also recorded works by George Gershwin, Tom Waits and the title track is a Mexican folk song which I fell in love with the first time I heard Marta Gomez sing it. We also carry on our tradition of "spins" (brief free improvisations) which serve as interludes between the songs.

I'm looking forward to releasing it to the world and performing the material at the Reykjavik Jazz Festival on August 14th. So if you can't make it to Iceland this time, let me send a little bit of Iceland your way.


April 11, 2015 10:52 pm | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (0)

I'm preparing (logistically and mentally) for my trip to Bremen for the Jazz Ahead conference after which I'm really excited that my trio is headed to Berlin to play at B-Flat and then to the Women in Jazz Festival in Halle, Germany… and as if that weren't enough, as soon as we get back to Iceland we're headed straight into the studio to record our next album with engineer Kjartan Kjartansson.

Here's a little "teaser" video with some live audio from our recent concert at Harpa. I discovered the Time-Lapse mode on my iPhone and couldn't resist.

Reykjavik Jazz Festival

August 18, 2014 2:45 pm | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (0)

A last minute shout out to ya all. We just returned from Berjadagar in the northern part of Iceland and tonight we are playing at Harpa Concert Hall, as part of the Reykjavik Jazz Festival!

Photographer Daniel Sheehan posted some great pics from our concert at the Seattle Art Museum on his blog. Check out Eye Shot Jazz

Duo in Amsterdam, Trio in US/Canada

July 27, 2014 7:11 pm | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (0)

The trio has just returned from a fabulous tour of the US and one splendid concert in Canada. I've just posted pictures from the tour to our page on Facebook which can be viewed here. Toggi had special ordered a travel bass for this tour  which turned out to be great. It has a removable neck which should make our future travels a bit easier.

As some of you may already know I had a great time in Amsterdam last May with bass clarinetist Maarten Ornstein. We got 4 stars in the newspaper Parool. Yay! He has now posted some videos from our performance at Splendor on YouTube. Please view them often and share with the world :)

This is my composition Tear (as in wear):

In August my trio will perform at Berjadagar Art Fest in Olafsfjordur and the Reykjavik Jazzfestival.

The Dutch Connection

August 14, 2013 3:16 pm | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (0)

I'm heading to the airport to pick up Maarten Ornstein, the saxophonist from Holland who will be performing a couple of duo concerts with me on the Reykjavik Jazz Festival this week.

Maarten's influences contain a great blend of traditional and ethnic music and I'm looking forward to exploring some different music with him.

We are planning on playing some originals, Monk, Frisell, the Beatles and some Turkish tunes and who knows what else.

Friday 14.8 at Reykjavik Jazzfest, Hannesarholt at 9pm.
Saturday 15.8 Bryggjan in Grindavík at 12 noon.

We will also play a little for the opening ceremony on Thursday at 7pm.


A Virtual House Concert!

March 23, 2013 3:01 pm | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Tomorrow, Sunday March 24th, my trio will be playing a Virtual House Concert as a part a 24 hour worldwide music fest to commemorate Tuberculosis Day. We go on at 16:30 GMT. This is pretty cool! We'll be playing in Iceland, the sound technicians are mixing from Italy and you'll be listening from wherever you are. Please check the extensive schedule of performers and join us by visiting StazionediTopolo.

Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio at home

Official Band of Reykjavik

January 31, 2013 10:22 am | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (2)

Toot, toot. My trio has been selected the Official Band of Reykjavik 2013! We are incredibly proud and appreciative of this recognition.

We are working on a new album, heading over to the USA soon for some concerts and life is just dandy.

The Power of Words

September 16, 2010 11:24 am | Filed under: Music,Uncategorized | Comments (1)

I am so flattered, honored, grateful and almost speechless for all the kudos coming my way. The value of "words" is incredible.

Yesterday I started thinking back to when my band was stranded outside Detroit (read more…)

Happy Holidays

December 24, 2009 1:14 am | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments (2)

Do you have a favorite Christmas tune? I have had the same favorite Christmas tune since I was a little kid and now I sing it every day with my two little girls. In Icelandic it is called "Í skóginum stóð kofi einn" which translates to "In the forest there was a cabin". I played it on my piano this morning and posted it on my Facebook fansite. A twitter buddy commented on it resembling a British tune "In a cottage in a wood".  I looked it up and found the English lyrics:

In a cottage in a wood
Little old man at the window stood,
Saw a rabbit running by
Frightened as could be.
"Help me, help me, help," she said,
"Before the huntsman shoots me dead."
"Come, little rabbit, come with me,
Happy we will be."

The Icelandic lyrics are basically the same except that Santa Claus takes the place of the old man and that's what makes it a Christmas tune here in Iceland. So it is probably British in origin. Anyway, a beautiful tune. I hope you enjoy the video and wish you Happy Holidays.

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