If you’re into fast guitar playing, swing rhythms and Miles Davis then today is your day. Yes, today is International Jazz Day and Reykjavík is coming out in full force to celebrate.
International Jazz Day was created back in 2011 by Herbie Hancock. For the non-jazz-aware, he is one of the most famous jazz musicians ever. The keyboardist started the holiday in the hopes of unifying people of all colours and creed through the power of jazz. Many different cities around the world have played host to this wonderful day including Havana, Osaka, Istanbul and Paris. While Reykjavík is not the host this year, the schedule for the capital is still full of fun acts.
To start off the celebration, Helgi ”Holy” Björnsson will be taking the stage alongside a jazz quartet at Bryggjan Brugghús to perform some of his favourite jazz songs. Helgi is well known to all Icelanders, having fronted the bands SSSól, and Grafík. The classic crooner is basically the Icelandic Mel Torme. The band will take the stage at 20:00 and attendance is free of charge.
If you’re more into Latin jazz though, then KEX Hostel has got you covered. Tómas R. Einarsson’s Latin-jazz quintet will be taking the stage, performing some jazz mainstays mixed in with original compositions by Tómas. They’ll start at 20:30 and of course, attendance is free of charge.
Still haven’t found anything of interest? Then you should seriously consider checking out ASA Tríó at Múlinn. Múlinn is a weekly jazz club at Harpa, where you can check out some quality jazz at a reasonable price. ASA Tríó is often referred to as the backbone of Icelandic jazz, they’ll be celebrating the day by teaming up with Jóel Pálsson, one of Iceland’s most revered saxophone players, to perform some jazz classics alongside some of their own songs. Tickets are 2.500 ISK and the show beings at 21:00.
So if you’re feeling like crying a river or flying to the moon, don’t miss out on these great concerts, and remember that the 1st of May is a holiday so you can drink the night away and not have to show up to work with a hangover. What more could you ask for?