The Trio

Endurteknir tónleikar Guitar Islancio á... - Listasafn Íslands / National Gallery of Iceland | FacebookGunnar Thordarson – guitar
Jón Rafnsson – bass
Björn Thoroddsen – guitar

Guitar Islancio was formed in 1998 by Björn Thoroddsen and Gunnar Thordarson and has since then performed across the globe, headlining concerts both in Iceland as well as in Scandinavia, mainland Europe, North-America and Asia.

The trio has released five albums, four of which contain jazzed-up versions of Icelandic folk songs. The album “Scandinavian Songs” also includes music from all the Nordic countries, The Faroe Islands and Greenland. All five albums have been critically acclaimed and have received bestseller status in Iceland.

In 2017, Guitar Islancio released a compilation album, “Þjóðlög / Folksongs / Volkslieder” containing 14 favorites from the older albums, as well as a brand new recording of the famous song “Á Sprengisandi / Ríðum, ríðum…” composed by Sigvaldi Kaldalóns.

The trio has performed alongside a wide variety of renowned international musicians, including France’s violonist Didier Lockwood and guitarist Sylvain Luc; Denmark’s clarinettist Jørgen Svare and violinist Kristian Jørgensen; Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius; Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine; American guitarist Larry Coryell and Canadian trumpet player Richard Gillis – who is also featured on the album “Icelandic Folk” (released in Canada as “Connections”).

In both 2000 and 2001, the city of Reykjavík awarded Guitar Islancio with the title of “Official Musical Group of the City”.

At concerts, the trio’s program is an entertaining mix of original material, Icelandic folk songs and jazz standards. The trio is famous for its powerful and lively performances and as such, it truly lives up to its name: the word Islancio is an Italian musical term and means with dash or with impetuousness. So playing “con islancio” means playing impetuiously. The sound of the word is also undeniably reminiscent of Iceland, and so the name is both musical and “Icelandic”.