Behind the two annual jazz festivals Copenhagen Jazz Festival and Vinterjazz is Copenhagen Jazz Festival Fonden – a nonprofit foundation with the purpose of producing an annual international jazz festival in Copenhagen and thereby contribute to the development and strengthening of the Danish jazz scene. In addition to booking and producing 120 annual concerts the foundation is responsible for the communication of the two festivals. The foundation works non-profit – should it generate a surplus one year, the surplus will be spent according to the purpose and invested in the following year’s festivals.


Anders Laursen (chairman)
Christian Have
Jens Erik Sørensen
Jan Laybourn

Festival office

Kenneth Hansen →
Festival Manager

Jakob Drong →
Booking Coordinator

Simon Christensen →
Communications Manager

Kasper Stougaard →
Communications Officer

Lars Meiling →
Project Coordinator

Copenhagen Jazz Festival

Every single summer since 1979 Copenhagen Jazz Festival has been taking over Copenhagen as one of Europe’s most important international music events based on eminent artistic quality and a sharp focus on new departures in both Danish and international jazz. Lasting 10 days, the festival envelops the Danish capital, offering af sumptuous musical feast to the 250.000 guests who join us year after year. Enjoying live jazz on the city’s streets, in its clubs, cafés and concert halls, and at open-air night venues – all in the very heart of historical Copenhagen.

Copenhagen’s legendary status as one of the jazz capitals of Europe grew in the 1950s and 1960s, when a whole host of leading American jazz icons had their creative base in the city. Among those who have called Copenhagen home are Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Ben Webster, Stuff Smith, Ed Thigpen, Thad Jones and Kenny Drew. Each and every one of them has drawn inspiration from Denmark’s jazz scene and the era’s most important jazz club: Jazzhus Montmartre. This was also the time when some of Denmark’s best musicians had their international breakthrough, musicians like Alex Riel, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen and Palle Mikkelborg.

Copenhagen’s unique jazz history is a key factor in the exceptionally high level of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, something that can be experienced at the many free open-air stages strategically located throughout the historical city centre. Together with Copenhagen’s record number of cafés and music venues, these stages create a unique atmosphere, bringing the city alive with jazz from early morning to late at night. People don’t only come for a fantastic musical experience, but for the unique atmosphere throughout Copenhagen when jazz takes over the city.

The festival audience can listen to top international jazz names at the stunning Royal Theatre, Copenhagen’s Opera House and Jean Nouvel’s architectural world-class Koncerthus – as well as along the harbour front, where they can take a dip in the clear waters to the sound of Danish and international jazz. Copenhagen Jazz Festival also proudly presents music at the border of jazz and other genres as part of the programme ‘Something Else’. And everyone’s welcome to take their kids to the beautiful parks to the east of the city where thousand of children and their parents flock every summer to enjoy a packed programme of live jazz, circus, painting workshops and singing – all part of the ‘Jazz for Kids’ festival programme.

Copenhagen Jazz Festival takes a pride in reaching many – and new – audiences, with tailor-made programmes for pensioners and teenagers, kids and their families, as well as catering for jazz aficionados and enthusiasts. Visitors can look forward to Copenhagen as a friendly and creative city where it’s safe to wander around accompanied by jazz night and day. A modern and open-minded metropolis that can be experienced at its very best during Copenhagen Jazz Festival.


Vinterjazz is a nationwide music festival that takes place in February each year. The festival spans 24 days and include more than 300 concerts in more than 75 venues throughout Denmark from the historic jazz city of Copenhagen to Bornholm and Aalborg. The combination of the festival’s length and the nationwide aspect makes Vinterjazz an ideal opportunity to meet international stars on tour, new Danish award-winning projects and themes like Jazz for Kids, Future Sound of Jazz and Jazz’n’Poetry.

The festival is first and foremost a club festival that kickstarts the season to the delight of concert enthusiasts, musicians and venues across the country. Vinterjazz was founded in 2001 and is produced by the Copenhagen Jazz Festival’s office in cooperation with the participating venues and organizers. The festival’s main purpose is to focus on the jazz scene in constant motion – to jumpstart jazz season for its jazz clubs and jazz organizers off season and to develop cooperation between regional venues, audiences and musicians.

The 17th edition of the Vinterjazz takes place on the 3rd-26th of February, 2017.

“Vinterjazz brings attention to jazz, as, for example, to the new bands like Aske Drasbæk Group, who in November received the Danish Music Award as New Danish Artist. It has, in other words, the same function as the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in the summer. It creates a curiosity, interest of the media and increased public awareness of a genre that besides a few big names have paradoxically low audience numbers compared to the vast pool of talent it contains. The music thrives as a result of [the festival’s] understanding of how to get the audience and the press to talk. Not just in the summer in Copenhagen, but also across the country in February, during Vinterjazz.” (Thomas Michelsen, music editor of Politiken)

“Vinterjazz is a potluck, created by jazz clubs and touring musicians during the festival. The more places are participating outside of Copenhagen, the closer it gets between the Vinterjazz activities, so there is still room for more active players and organizers in the country’s remote areas. Vinterjazz aims to focus on the Danish jazz and in particular, on the dedicated venues, independent organizers and jazz associations around the country, and we do this by kick-starting the season and creating a festival feeling among the audience, venues and musicians, “(Kenneth Hansen, festival director Vinterjazz and Copenhagen Jazz Festival)

Facts & figures

Copenhagen Jazz Festival
– Copenhagen Jazz Festival starts the first Friday of July and runs for ten straight days.
– The festival has existed in its present form since 1979.
– The festival features around 1,200 concerts at more than 120 venues.
– The concerts takes place at clubs, cafes, bars, concert halls and open-air stages in the city’s parks and squares and along the harbour front.
– Besides the concerts acquiring entry fees the festival features a great number of free concerts.
– Pre-sale spots can be found at In addition, most venues will offer tickets at the door.
– The programme is available in print, in the official app Live Jazz Danmark and at
– The festival engages more than 200 volunteers.

– During the course of the 10 days the total audience numbers to more than 250,000 people.
– The visitors are divided evenly among the age groups 0-35 years, 36-55 years and 56 years or older.
– Nine out of teen visitors are Danish. The foreign visitors are primarily Swedish, Norwegian, German, British and American.
– Copenhagen Jazz Festival generates approximately 80 million Danish kroner in revenue for the city of Copenhagen (Source: Wonderful Copenhagen, Nov. 2011)

→ Visitor Analysis: Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2011 (by Wonderful Copenhagen)  PRESS RELEASE // REPORT

– Vinterjazz starts the first Friday of February and runs for 24 straight days.
– The festival has existed since 2001.
– The festival covers the whole of Denmark.
– 100 venues participate presenting a total of more than 500 concerts.