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Ex-Brooklyn patriot, born in Iceland, jazz pianist and composer Sunna Gunnlaugs has released five CDs and performed in Europe, Japan, Canada and the US, combining the elegance of the European approach with a fiery New York attitude.
When were you happiest?
I remember feeling really happy for quite some time after my first daughter was born in 2005.
What is your greatest fear?
The idea of losing my family is frightening so I try not to think about it.
What is your earliest memory?
I'm not sure. Probably exploring the field across from where I grew up when I was about three or so.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Being inconsiderate of others.
What is your most treasured possession?
What would your superpower be?
The ability to fill people with happiness.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Maybe Drew Barrymore.
What is your most unappealing habit?
I tend to always be working full speed ahead because I have a lot to do in a short amount of time. I get so focused on the job sometimes that I forget to be personable.
Which person would you most like to meet, and why?
I would like to meet Barack Obama and get his input on how to save Iceland from the economic crisis.
Which living person do you most admire, and why?
I admire my two girls the most. My life is centered on them so it makes sense. It is wonderful to feel their unconditional love and incredible to see a person develop.
Which living person do you most despise, and why?
I try not to spend time on negative things or even the energy on despising someone. That would be a waste of time and energy.
If you could go back in time, where would you go? Hum... don't know. Maybe to Miles Davis' 1964 concert at Town Hall.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Aside from a property, what is the most expensive thing you have ever bought?
My Toyota Matrix.
Where would you like to live?
I am happy living in Iceland but wouldn't mind a bigger house so I could have a dedicated music room. I lived in Brooklyn for nine years and it would be nice to have a pad there so I could go back more frequently.
What makes you depressed?
I think I am the most affected by how my girls feel. If they are irritable or sick for a period of time I may feel a bit depressed because I want them to be happy all the time.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I broke my front tooth when I was a kid playing with a lid from a garbage can. The replacement tooth is quite old now and in much need of being replaced again.
What is your favorite smell?
The smell of freshly baked bread might be my favorite. I had to stay away from bread for a while because of a gluten intolerance that I have now overcome. People with Celiac disease have all my sympathy.
What is your favorite book?
The 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
When I was a kid my mom used to babysit two kids for a while that came from difficult homes. I was really jealous and far from friendly with them. If I could go back I'd try to be a little nicer.
Have you ever said "I love you" and not meant it?
I don't think so.
Who would you like to invite to your dream dinner party?
Bobo Stenson would play the piano; Deepak Chopra, Dalai Lama and Shirley MacLaine for spiritual input. Jack Black to keep things funny. Karina Allrich to cook some gluten-free dishes and Jacque Imo to cook some real 'Nawlins dishes and Vigdis Finnbogadottir, the first female president of Iceland.
When did you last cry, and why?
I think that when you have small children you just get so exhausted from time to time. Too many sleepless nights, too much to do, never a moment for yourself...
I had one of those moments a few weeks ago.
What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
I love jazz because I enjoy the freedom.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was 17.
I met Cedar Walton at a concert in San Paulo.
The best show I ever attended was Helio Jambao trio.
The first jazz record I bought was Witchcraft by George Benson.
My advice to new listeners is listen to the old school first.