We are just one month away from Reykjavik’s longest continually running music festival: The Reykjavik Jazz Festival. Venues across Iceland’s capital will come alive with expertly improvised melodies across multiple genres of the soulful style. If jazz has always seemed complicated and distant to get into, fear not, because this festival has something for everyone. Novices and life-long fans alike will be welcomed with opened arms! Come curious and leave impressed with the skill with which these musicians wield their saxophones, electric guitars, and pianos. Let’s take a sneak peek at the festival and some of the headlining acts.
Details About the Reykjavik Jazz Festival
First things first, don’t worry about rushing out to buy tickets for the festival. The Reykjavik Jazz Festival starts Sunday, September 2nd at 20:00 (8:00 PM). That Sunday, Bryggjan Brugghús will be hosting the official pre-party for the festival. I honestly couldn’t think of a better location! The independent brewery has an impressive array of local Icelandic beers, and the brewhouse itself is warm and welcoming. There is no price for admission, which is a major plus. If you have a hankering for some delicious malt beverages, are looking to save some cash, and want to meet some new friends, then head to the Bryggjan Brugghús for the pre-party. It will surely be a great way to kick off the week-long extravaganza.
The Streets Come Alive With Music
The festival’s official start date is that same Wednesday. To celebrate the festival, organizers have scheduled a lively welcome parade. The procession will begin at 17:00 (5:00 PM) and will weave through the streets of Reykjavik. This is music to my ears because I loathe Wednesdays, so I am looking forward to it. I’m pretty sure no one really likes Wednesdays, except maybe camels. You know, because they say Wednesday is “Hump Day.” I digress.
A comprehensive selection of diverse genres will be on display during the festival. Festival-goers can expect to enjoy avant-garde jazz, Nordic jazz, and traditional jazz. The diverse selection the concert organizers have selected will inevitably produce music that will resonate with everybody. So again, even if you are tentative about going to your first jazz festival rest comfortably knowing that their will be something for everyone to enjoy. It isn’t a surprise that the Reykjavik Jazz Festival is the longest running music festival in the city. They simply know what they are doing!
Also, even if this particular genre isn’t your favorite, this event provides an excellent opportunity to explore Reykjavik’s premier music venues and restaurants. I am never one to say no to exploring the city, and if it is your first time in Iceland, it is the perfect chance to get an insight into what Reykjavik has to offer.
The Reykjavik Jazz Festival – Line Up
Festival organizers have really outdone themselves this year. The lineup for this year‘s weeklong musical spectacle features some of the best musicians Iceland has to offer. From Wednesday to Sunday there will be 22 official events and shows across six different locations in Reykjavik. Some of the featured artists include Richard Andersson, NOR, Dóh Trió, Una Stef, Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Katrín Halldóra and the Arctic Swing Quintet, and many, many more. For the uninitiated, these names may seem like a string of nonsensical Nordic names, but after you see any one of these artists live, you surely won’t forget them.
Final Thoughts – Reykjavik Jazz Festival
No matter if you are young or old, a jazz newbies or an expert, (or even just a curious tourist), this event is going to going to be a blast for everyone! If you happen to be Reykjavik during the festival, I urge you to check out a few of the shows performed by these professional musicians. Also, it will be an excellent chance for foreigners to experience some of our best and brightest local musicians. Maybe, just maybe, it will turn some of the more cynical musical aficionados into newly-minted jazz fans. Come with an open mind, stay for the music, and if you are lucky you can grab a drink after with some new friends!
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