It is rare to hear a two-piano concert of duets, but even rarer to hear two female jazz pianists together. Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs and Berlin's own Julia Hülsmann will approach this rarity in their own personal way at Felleshus on September 29th.
Sunna Gunnlaugs performed at Felleshus with her trio last year to a packed house. She is know in Iceland and abroad as a prolific composer and pianist who has released 8 CDs as a leader. She graduated from William Paterson College in New Jersey (USA) in 1996 and moved to New York City where she became an active member of the jazz scene. The Village Voice called her "an impressive newcomer."
After recording 4 albums and touring the US, Canada, Europe and Japan Gunnlaugs moved back to Iceland and formed a trio with bassist Þorgrímur Jónsson and drummer (and husband) Scott McLemore. In 2012 the trio was featured on the Oslo Jazz Festival with special guest Norwegian saxophonist Tore Brunborg and in 2013 the Kennedy Center's Nordic Cool Festival in Washington DC. Her her trio was also named the 2013 Official Band of Reykjavik and recently completed a bi-coastal tour of North America and a 5-country tour of Europe. Her latest album 'Distilled' was nominated in 4 categories on the Icelandic Music Awards and was on All About Jazz's list of the best of 2013.
Julia Hülsmann has been a force in the German jazz scene for quite some time and with her internationally acclaimed releases on the ECM label like 'The End of a Summer,' 'Imprint' and 'In Full View' the world has awoken to her unique voice both as a composer and pianist. In 1996 she graduated from Hochschule der Kunste in Berlin and began performing as a leader at clubs and festivals all over Germany. In 2003 she won the German Jazz Award for her album 'Scattering Poems' which was music set to poetry by E.E. Cummings with singer Rebekka Bakken. This is also not the first time she has performed with an Icelander as she was featured on the 2007 Berlin Jazz Festival with the Gerður Gunnarsdóttir String Quartet. Hülsmann is also very active as an advocate in the jazz scene having co-founded the JazzMusikerAufruf and in 2012 she was named the Chairperson of the German Musicians Union.
The two pianists will explore the vast possibilities that two pianos present via each others compositions as well as pieces by their favorite composers.
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