Sunna Gunnlaugs & Maarten Ornstein (IS/NL)

Opus Jazz Club
  • Sunna Gunnlaugs - piano
  • Maarten Ornstein - bass clarinet

 If there was ever any doubt about the power of social media, this duo proves its relevance. The Gunnlaugs - Ornstein duo was born on Twitter back in 2013 when they started exchanging tweets about life, music and anything else that mattered, culminating in an “alright let’s play..” tweet that set the whole thing in motion. The duo actually first met one day before their first gig, at Reykjavik Jazz Festival in the summer of 2013.

Fastforwarding to 2016, after having played concerts in both their countries they presented Unspoken, their debut album with original compositions, free improvisations, two tunes by Thelonious Monk and an Ottoman traditional. The music on Unspoken reflects both their musical tastes and backgrounds. It highlights their fondness of jazz that is spacious, transparent and full of detail. The piano and bass clarinet both have a huge range in octaves as well as sonically and together produce a great sound that hovers between warm and woody, and crispy metallic. The vastness of the Icelandic landscape, dynamics of Amsterdam inner city life, volcanic eruptions and deep tranquility, their music has it all.

Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs is best known for her work with her trio Sunna Gunnlaugs Trio. She is Iceland’s only female jazz instrumentalist and one of Iceland’s best known jazz musicians on the international scene. Sunna won performer of the year 2015 at the Icelandic Music Awards and next year her duo with Maarten Ornstein was nominated in two categories, in composition of the piece “Unspoken” and in composers for the album Unspoken.

Dutch bass clarinetist Maarten Ornstein Maarten leads the free funk ensemble DASH! and performs as a soloist. Additionally, he plays with lutist Mike Fentross, pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs, singer Rima Khcheich and performance poet and singer Jeannine Valeriano. Maarten Ornstein is a member of Splendor Amsterdam. He won soloist awards at the Leverkussener Jazztage in Germany and at NOS Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. 

Listen to the album Unspoken

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