I just returned from Bremen where I attended the JazzAhead conference for the second time. Last year I almost canceled last minute then almost didn't get there because of a row of canceled flights. Well this time it was a smooth journey and it didn't hurt to have my trio with me. At first I was a bit overwhelmed at the conference. I didn't have a plan and I asked myself "What am I doing here?" Then I started seeing familiar faces and …oh my, tapas at the cafeteria! Oh yes!
One thing that is really nice about JazzAhead, especially for someone who lives on an isolated island in the North Atlantic, is seeing friends from all over the world. Where else would a pianist from Iceland, a trumpeter from the UK and a trumpeter from Australia who all went to Banff together over 10 years ago literally run into each other? It was nice to catch up with Tom Arthurs and Peter Knight.
I had the chance to talk to Julia Hülsmann and Gwilym Simcock, two pianists that I have been listening to lately. I also met for the first time several critics that have written about my music in the past. It can be a very inspirational environment and I feel very encouraged to keep doing what I do.
We were scheduled to perform at Sendesaal Saturday night along with 2 other Icelandic bands, Voices of a nation and AdHd. It was humbling to sit down at the Steinway D in this beautiful room and think that this was where Keith Jarrett played his "Solo Concert", (the Bremen part at least) and that Thelonious Monk had played there and also Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Jan Garbarek with Bobo Stenson and the list goes on. Holy moly. Humbling? Yes sir! We all just loved the sound in there and the only disappointment was that each band only had one set… nobody really wanted to leave that stage. I guess we'll have to try to book it on a later tour.
After 3 days of standing all day, staying up late and waking up early I was pooped. I slept the whole 4 hour train ride to Frankfurt and the whole flight to Iceland. Now I dream of playing in Sendesaal again.
Someone posted pictures from our concert here