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Ingi Bjarni Skúlason

Ingi Bjarni Skúlason is an Icelandic pianist/composer of considerable distinction and finesse, creatively seeking to shun boundaries in style or genre. He builds collaborations that challenge and excite, including projects with friends and colleagues in the Scandinavian countries he has lived in. His works are informed by jazz tradition, Nordic folksong and electronica. His own folk music of sorts.

His first two albums – Skarkali (2015) and Fundur (2018) – invited listeners into spacial freedom and vibrant expression of a piano trio. Tenging (2019) expands horizons further with a sparkling quintet (trumpet, guitar, piano, bass and drums). Lessons (2021) is a solo piano album with piano music in an undefined style. In the quintet album Farfuglar (2023), his quintet’s collective impressions of flight and abandon positively connect us with a panoply of atmospheres from which to soar in our imaginations.

Ingi Bjarni attained a Bachelor’s degree in Jazz Performance at Den Haag, The Netherlands. From there, he went on to achieve a Master’s degree in composition from the University of Gothenburg, with exchange semesters in Copenhagen and Oslo. Tutors and mentors have included Misha Alperin, Anders Jormin, Helge Lien, Aaron Parks, Eyolf Dale, Eric Gieben, Agnar Már Magnússon and Helge Sunde; and as a bandleader, Skúlason has performed at jazz festivals in Bremen (jazzahead), Hamburg (Elbjazz), Lillehammer, Vilnius, Copenhagen, Reykjavík and the Faroe Islands.

In the Spring of 2020, he received five nominations for the Icelandic Music Awards for his quintet recording Tenging, and was awarded as the most promising Icelandic jazz artist.


• Award for Icelandic Music Prize as the most promising jazz artist (2020)
• Five nominations for Icelandic Music Awards for Tenging (2019)
• Ingi Bjarni Trio – nomination for Icelandic Music Awards as jazz performer of the year (2018)
• Märta, Sten och Stellan Hähnels minnesfond (2017)
• Nomination for Icelandic Music Prize as the most promising jazz artist (2014)
• Award for outstanding musicianship at Berklee Summer School in Umbria (2009)
• Most promising keyboard player at Músíktilraunir (2007)


Album Review

Ingi Bjarni Skúlason: Farfuglar

Read "Farfuglar" reviewed by Chris May

Appropriately enough for an album on NXN, a subsidiary of classical label Naxos, which only relatively recently diversified into jazz, the Icelandic pianist Ingi Bjarni Skúlason's Farfuglar spans both traditions. Is it classical? Is it jazz? Both? Neither? Check the YouTube below and decide for yourself. Whatever it may be, Skúlason's music is definitely cerebral, a quality which it shares, perhaps coincidentally, but probably not, with other releases on NXN. One thinks in particular of Norwegian saxophonist ...

Album Review

Ingi Bjarni: Lessons

Read "Lessons" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

In the very brief liner notes accompanying this solo debut record, the Icelandic pianist-composer Ingi Bjarni Skúlason talks about the difficult challenge it proved, to record and produce his piano music all by himself. With regard to the timing of the recording, he admits he does not believe there is ever a “right time" for doing anything, “so why not do it now?." As many jazz releases have proved, Bjarni was not the only one to have this idea during ...

Album Review

Ingi Bjarni: Tenging

Read "Tenging" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Almost deliberately, Tenging doesn't make a terribly memorable impression at first. It is subtle enough not to stick in the listener's head and seems shorter than its respectable 42 minutes. This understated quintet recording is patient and quietly confident enough to exist in its own bubble. As it happens, that's exactly the point--Ingi Bjarni Skulason's approach here is about rejecting the world's fast-paced distractions in favor of intuition and mindfulness. The pieces were simply grown with no particular agenda, all ...

Album Review

Ingi Bjarni Skúlason: Tenging

Read "Tenging" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Icelandic composer and pianist Ingi Bjarni Skúlason lived in Gotheburg, Copenhagen and Oslo while studying his Masters degree in composition. It is in these European cities where he met and performed with the musicians heard on this record. Jakob Eri Myhre and Merje Kägu join on trumpet and guitar with Daniel Andersson and Tore Ljøkelsøy forming the rhythm section on bass and drums. The music on Tenging was conceived especially with them in mind, not necessarily the specific instrumentation, but ...

Album Review

Ingi Bjarni Trio: Fundur

Read "Fundur" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Hailing from Reykjavik, pianist and composer Ingi Bjarni fluidly melds the extreme landscapes of his native Iceland with an innate, resilient melodicism that shifts willfully within the body of his music like a slideshow of the wild Icelandic terrain. Translated roughly as 'finding/discovery' or 'to have found something' Fundur immediately captures the ear with the openly expressive language that Bjarni, double bassist Bárður Reinert Poulsen and drummer Magnús Trygvason Eliassen bring to the trio format.Telepathic in nature, tenor, ...

Album Review

Ingi Bjarni Skúlason: Skarkali

Read "Skarkali" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Prediction: pianist/composer Ingi Bjarni Skúlason and his music will eventually end up on ECM. This is not because he is from Iceland, but rather that he, even at his young age, has a fully developed, recognizable style. Skarkali, which literally means “loud noises," is a piano trio recording that is anything but noise, and is delicately intense (or intensely delicate) rather than loud. Supported by bassist Valdimar Olgeirsson and drummer Óskar Kjartansson, Skúlason's compositions unfold as dramatic stories, ...

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Adam Baruch (IL)
“very interesting piece of music, with a unique sound and unusual innovative approach to improvisation, which is almost impossible to find these days.”

Concerto Magazin (AT)
” A wonderful album that captures the North as it sounds when mixed with the various musical influences of this world.

Jazz Journal
“a suite of genre-bridging music of captivating poetic ambience, rooted in an overall subtlety of melodic figure and rhythmic interaction….A distinctive and rewarding album, which impresses more and more with each hearing.”  

Primary Instrument


Willing to teach

Intermediate to advanced


Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Fragile Magic

Self Produced



NXN Recordings



Self Produced



Losen Records



Dot Time Records



Self Produced



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