Bassist & composer Sigmar Matthiasson’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. Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Sigmar started playing bass around the age of 16. He was first introduced to jazz when studying at the F.I.H. School of Music where he graduated from in 2012. Later on Sigmar furthered his jazz studies at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, where he studied with many of the most renowned jazz educators and musicians in New York City. He graduated with honors in the spring of 2016. Sigmar has been an active performer on the Icelandic music scene for several years, performing and/or recording with many of the most in-demand pop and jazz musicians in Iceland, including Eyþór Gunnarsson, Einar Scheving, Jóel Pálsson and Ragnheiður Gröndal. In addition Matthiasson has performed at many international festivals, including London Jazz Festival in England, Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway, Jazz Finland Festival in Helsinki, Bern Jazz Festival in Switzerland, Nordic Jazz Festival in Washington DC and Reykjavík Jazz Festival in Iceland. His last project called ÁRÓRA plays Matthiasson’s original music. Áróra’s debut performance was at the Reykjavík Jazz Festival in 2014 and in 2018 the band celebrated the release of their self-titled debut album which was recorded at Sigurros’ legendary studio Sundlaugin and released on September 7th 2018. The ten original compositions combine jazz with different genres to create a surprising mixture of powerful and lyrical music with an adventurous, yet still a stable outcome. Matthiasson was very honored to get two nominations for The Icelandic Music Awards this year – he was nominated as jazz composer of the year in addition to one of his songs from the Áróra album, Norðurljós, was nominated as jazz composition of the year.
“The whole pin-bright ensemble interprets Matthiasson’s eight characterful originals with a striking post-Jarrett capacity to move from lyrical and deeply introspective moments to passages of freshly turned exhilaration and affirmation…his big sound, wide-ranging rhythmic capacities and broadly spun, freshly melodic approach to writing should soon ensure him further international exposure.” – Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal
“It’s no wonder that Matthíasson’s lyrical and eminently likable debut recording exhibits such a classic American feel…Áróra is a vibrant and engaging debut.” – Mike Jurkovic, All About Jazz
“Lyrical, felt and beautiful bass playing and nice open compositions from a young Icelandic bassist in very good company with some of Iceland’s finest jazzmusicians.” – Peter Rahbek, Jazz Special (translated)
“The music contained on Áróra impresses with performance and technique, but also with a large emotional charge. The musicians feel self-confidence, unrestricted freedom, the feeling of being freed from limitations. The dynamics of the compositions and the ingenuity of the musicians are also remarkable. In addition, the fluidity of individual tracks, control over experimental tours and the ability to maintain the right balance, make this album fantastic. The debut album that Sigmar Matthiasson has prepared for us is a sound kaleidoscope of impressions. Music from Áróra penetrates the bone and evokes pleasant shivers of pleasure.” – Marcin Kozicki, Stacja Islandia (translated)