With a reputation for genre-busting eclecticism, composer and electric guitarist Hafdís Bjarnadóttir’s influences range from the blues to contemporary classical. Her style has been described as hybrid and wide-ranging, incorporating elements from jazz, folk, rock, classical, pop, avant-garde/experimental, classical and “local music from out there”, while always remaining distinctive and personal. Her second solo album, JÆJA, received critical acclaim and was nominated for the 2009 Iceland Music Awards. Her most recent album, Já, received the coveted Kraumur Music Award in 2017 and has been nominated for best alternative album and best alternative song/composition at the Icelandic Music Awards.
A native of Reykjavík, Bjarnadóttir started playing electric guitar in her early teens and graduated in jazz guitar performance from the city’s leading jazz school, the FÍH School of Music. Keen to develop her compositional voice, she earned a bachelor’s degree in contemporary composition from the Iceland Academy of the Arts and a master’s degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Music. She lives and works in Reykjavík.