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Long Bio


Born on an isolated volcanic island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean – bassist and

composer Sigmar Matthiasson has come far from the midnight sun and hot springs in

Iceland. Now he has been resident in New York City for over a year furthering his

jazz studies at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music as well as proving

himself in the challenging music scene in New York. Growing up in Reykjavik,

Iceland, Sigmar didn’t discover the beauty and power of music until his teens. After

playing the acoustic guitar for a while, he picked up the electric bass at the age of 16

and immediately knew that it was the right instrument for him. “My friends and I

were starting a garage band and somebody needed to play the bass. I made the switch from guitar to the bass and that’s a decision I will never regret, it changed my life,” says Matthiasson. Spending his first musical years mostly playing pop, rock and metal Sigmar was first introduced to jazz through music school. Initially he was drawn to the funk and fusion jazz of Herbie Hancock and Weather Report. Sigmar recalls: “I

remember hearing Jaco Pastorious for the first time and thinking - what a sound,

technique and soul!” As time went on Sigmar got more interested in traditional jazz

and playing the upright bass after listening to the great masters of the instrument

including Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Ron Carter and Scott LaFaro.


Matthiasson has been a very active performer on the Icelandic music scene for several years and has worked with many bands including Nordic folk/jazz group Silfurberg and pop/rock band Hvar er Mjallhvít?, which both have released records in Iceland. In addition, he has performed and/or recorded with many of the most in-demand pop andjazz musicians in Iceland including pianist Eythor Gunnarsson (of jazz-fusion group Mezzoforte), drummer Einar Scheving, saxophonist Joel Palsson and the American drummer Scott McLemore. “The music scene is Iceland isn’t that big so basically everybody plays with everybody, especially in jazz. The level of players is very high and we have so many great musicians in Iceland despite our small population of 320 thousand.” says Sigmar. His most recent project is the jazz quartet AURORA which mostly plays Sigmar’s original compositions. “I wanted to put together a band of my young colleagues from Iceland to play my music. They are all great players and the energy and atmosphere in the band sounds so good,” says Sigmar. Aurora consists of Matthiasson on double bass, Helgi R. Heidarsson on tenor saxophone, pianist Tomas Jonsson and Oskar Kjartansson on drums. The band played its debut gig with a performance at the Reykjavik Jazz Festival in August 2014, sharing the bill with contemporary jazz stars like Ari Hoenig, Chris Speed, Jim Black and Aaron Parks. Aurora was also chosen to represent Iceland in the annual Young Nordic Jazz Comets showcase which took part in Helsinki, Finland in September 2014.


Sigmar is currently a scholarship student at The New School for Jazz and

Contemporary Music in New York. In New York he has studied with many great

teachers, including Jeff Carney, Reggie Workman, Lee Ann Ledgerwood, Jimmy

Owens and Rory Stuart to name a few. “Spending 4 hours a week in a classroom with

a legend like Mr. Workman is a true life experience. I’ve also learned so much about

the bass and music in general from Jeff Carney this past year as having him as my

main instrument teacher.” says Matthiasson. Sigmar graduated from the F.I.H. School

of Music in Reykjavik (Iceland’s biggest jazz school) in the spring of 2012. In his

last year he was offered a full scholarship for his outstanding performance at the

school and spent one semester as an exchange-student in Denmark, studying at The

Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus. In Iceland and Denmark Sigmar studied electric

and double bass while taking lessons in improvisation and composition with many

great teachers including pianist Søren Nørbo, guitarist Hilmar Jensson, saxophonist

Sigurdur Flosason and bassists Torben Bjørnskov, Ulfar Ingi Haraldsson, Robert

Thorhallson and Toggi Jonsson.


As a musician living in New York City, Sigmar Matthiasson faces his biggest

challenge to date. At The New School Sigmar has met so many talented people and

future music collaborators and at the same time he is beginning to make a name for

himself out there in the big world of music. As he develops his sound and style by

studying traditional and contemporary jazz, he is more determined then ever to have

his voice be heard and focused on getting his music out there to the people who want

to listen. Sigmar’s sound is best described as a magnificent blend of hardcore groove

and colorful melodies with influences ranging from Megadeth and Led Zeppelin to

Jaco Pastorius and Ray Brown. Upcoming is a recording of Aurora’s first album,

followed by a tour of Scandinavia and Europe as well as other projects in the US this

coming winter.


Sigmar currently resides in East Harlem with his wife Osk Ingadottir, an esthetician

who is currently studying make-up artistry at the Make-up Designory in New York.

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