Jagúar was formed in the summer of 1998 by six guys interested in playing 70´s instrumental funk, soul & jazz. First lineup consisted of Daði Birgisson (keyboards), Ingi S. Skúlason (bass), Jón Indriðason (drums), Börkur H. Birgisson (guitar), Hrafn Ásgeirsson (tenor sax) and Birkir Mattíasson (trumpet).
In the beginning Jagúar played a lot of covers by James Brown, Kool and the Gang, Herbie Hancock and other 70´s funk masters. After a few months of live performances at local Reykjavík clubs Samúel Jón Samúelsson (trombone) joined along with drummer Sigfús Óttarsson (replacing Jón Indriðason) and the band started working on their first album with original instrumental material titled "Jagúar" which they released in November 1999. In January 2000, Birkir and Hrafn left the band. Kjartan Hákonarsson (trumpet) soon joined and tours around Iceland began in the summer of 2000. In the autumn of 2000 Jagúar was a part of the "1000 years since the Vikings found America" celebration in New York where the band played an open air concert at pier 17.
In the beginning of 2001 the band started working on their second album titled "Get The Funk Out" which was released in June 2001 along with the film "Jagúar, The Movie", a B-movie spin off. The film was tragically destroyed when the building where Jagúar rehearsed and recorded was torn down to make space for a new financial district in Reykjavík. It was a great building with lots of great artists and bands working including Sigur Rós and Gus Gus. Money makes the world go round!
Eyjólfur Þorleifsson (tenor sax) joined the band and Jagúar toured Iceland again in the summer of 2001 where they met the Norwegian band "The Real Ones". On September 10th 2001 Jaguar went to Sweden for a minitour were they opened up for the Swedish metal legends "Sator".
In February 2002 Jagúar received "The Icelandic Music Awards" for album of the year (Get The Funk Out) and Sigfús the drummer quit. He was "quickly" replaced by Erik Qvik and in March the band went to Norway for the Side Sounds tour along with The Real Ones. Erik left the band in July and was replaced by former drummer Sigfús. The band started adding more vocals to their music and trombone player Samúel started singing. In September Jaguar went on a tour to Belgium and The Netherlands.
Early 2003 Óskar Guðjónsson replaced Eyjólfur on saxophone and in Februar Jaguar played their UK debut at The Jazz Café in London. In April the band played a late night show after their long time hero Maceo Parker in Brussels in Belgium. Then Óskar was replaced by Australian sax player Daniel Rorke.
A three week tour through Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and UK followed in May.
In September the band returned to Jazz Café to promote their first UK release, "That´s Your Problem Baby" on Freestyle Records. In October 2003 the band participated in a Tribute to Motown Show at Broadway theater. There the band got a chance to perform many of their favorite Motown funk tunes such as Marvin Gay´s "What´s Going on" and the Temptations "Papa Was a Rolling Stone".
In May 2004 Jagúar appeared as a 14 piece big band at the Reykjavik Art Festival performing the music of Icelandic jazz composer Tómas R. Einarsson. The concert was released on a live album titled "Dance You Idiot!"
In July the band started working on their 3rd album and performed at the Summer Stage festival in New York. Daniel Rorke was then replaced by Óskar again on sax. Al Stone (former producer of Jamiroquai) came to Iceland in August to work with the band and so did the Godfather of Funk, Mr Dynamite. Jaguar had their dream come true when they opened for James Brown in Reykjavik Music Hall in August. "Hello Somebody" (the 3rd album) was released in November 2004. Jagúar performed with Harry Belafonte on the Icelandic National Television in December. At the Icelandic Music Awards in February 2005 Jaguar received 4 awards including "Best performer" and "Jazz Album of the year". In May Sigfus quit once again. He was replaced temporarily by Hjörleifur Jónsson for a tour to Sweden and UK to promote the UK release of "One Of Us". In June Daði and Börkur also quit.
In August 2005 Jaguar was joined by Ómar Guðjónsson (guitar) and Jóhann Hjörleifsson (drums).
In August 2006 Jóhann was replaced by Einar Scheving on drums.
Jagúar started working on new material for their next album and preparing their live show for festivals and clubs.
Early in Februar Jagúar travelled to Denmark to make a new album. Recordings were made at studio Lundgaard, Denmark. Recordings and mix were completed at Hljóðriti, Iceland in Mars, May and June.
Jagúar released their fourth album "Shake It Good" on the 18th of August 2007.
In July 2009 Hjörleifur Jónsson played the drums for a while until Helgi Sv. Helgason replaced him in Spetmeber 2009.
Ingi S. Skúlason | Bass
Samúel Jón Samúelsson | Trombone and Lead vocals
Kjartan Hákonarson | Trumpet
Óskar Guðjónsson | Saxophone
Ómar Guðjónsson | Guitar
Helgi Sv. Helgason | Drums