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  • Sunna Gunnlaugs (2012)

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    (Photo by Hörður Sveinsson)

    Sunna Gunnlaugs began taking lessons on the organ as a child growing up not far from Reykjavik in her native Iceland. The piano didn't appeal to her until later, since she associated it with classical music, and found the organ more suitable for playing The Beatles and polkas and Strauss.

    Then, as a teenager, Sunna heard a recording by Bill Evans, and that sold her on jazz. In the early 1990s, she enrolled in William Paterson College in New Jersey, so, its being only 20 minutes from Manhattan, she was out listening to a lot of music.

    After graduation, Sunna moved to Brooklyn, and began playing in listening rooms such as the Cornelia Street Café and the Knitting Factory. Following the release of her first recording, "Far, Far Away", she was described by the "Village Voice" as an "impressive newcomer".

    Sunna's music has a sound reminiscent of ECM—Keith Jarrett, Jan Gabarek or, one of her influences, Bobo Stenson: it's very melodic, elegant and fiery, all at the same time.
    Pick Artist Album Song Label
    # 1 Bill Evans Moon Dreams Stairway to the Stars OJC
    # 2 Miles Davis The Complete Concert: 1964 All of You Columbia
    # 3 Keith Jarrett My Song Country ECM
    # 4 Joni Mitchell Both Sides Now At Last Reprise
    # 5 Ahmad Jamal Cross-Country Tour Darn That Dream GRP
    # 6 Bobo Stenson Chiquilín de Bachín Cantando ECM
    # 7 Sunna Gunnlaugs Songs from Iceland Uppá Himins Bláum Boga Sunny Sky
    # 8 Hank Mobley Soul Station Remember Blue Note
    Book Shirley MacLaine, "The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit"
    Luxury Item A Vitamix
    Castaways by date
    Chris Amberger
    23 Jun
    Gerald Beckett
    01 Sep
    Buzz Brooks
    28 Apr
    Jarrett Cherner
    16 Jun
    Kev Choice
    30 Jun
    Anat Cohen
    28 Jul
    Natalie Cressman
    10 Feb
    Hershey Felder
    07 Apr
    Mitchell Feldman
    18 Aug
    Mike Galisatus
    03 Nov
    Aaron Germain
    06 Jan
    Robin Gregory
    17 Feb
    Tamir Hendelman
    13 Oct
    Kasey Knudsen
    17 Mar
    Matthew Montfort
    26 May
    Dan Montgomery
    06 Oct
    Andrea Motis
    21 Jul
    Ray Obiedo
    10 Mar
    Jayn Pettingill
    17 Nov
    John Pizzarelli
    25 Aug
    Sandi Poindexter
    24 Mar
    Don Randi
    20 Oct
    David Rogers
    24 Feb
    Eric Whittington
    29 Sep
    George Winston
    04 Aug
    Lizz Wright
    09 Jun
    Jason Yeager
    02 Jun