Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Bjorkestra: Jazz Meets Bjork

Travis Sullivan leads orchestra performing songs of Icelandic pop artist

Becca Stevens with The Bjorkestra in Kennesaw, GA
Bjorkestra soundcheck at The Blender Theatre, NYC.
Becca Stevens with the Bjorkestra
Travis Sullivan of the Bjorkestra
Travis Sullivan of the Bjorkestra

A little over a decade ago, Travis Sullivan wrote eight bars of a jazz arrangement that he worried would never go anywhere. His material was the music of Icelandic songstress Bjork. As for his instincts about the arrangement – well, luckily for him, they ended up being pretty far off the mark.

Today Sullivan fronts Bjorkestra, which is exactly what it sounds like: a jazz orchestra that recreates the work of Bjork, one of the most distinctive and often perplexing singer-songwriters of the past 20 years. At the end of the this month, Bjorkestra will launch an East Coast mini-tour, playing two shows in Maryland and one in Philadelphia all within a four-day span. Their first stop is a free outdoor concert at the Strathmore in Bethesda on June 23, then a June 24 performance in Easton’s NightCat before heading up to Philadelphia’s World Café Live the very next night on June 25. Sullivan said that the group also has a live album in the works, their first release since their full-length January 2008 debut, Enjoy.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published