A big thanks from the 40th edition of Copenhagen Jazz Festival!
The 40th edition of Copenhagen’s largest and oldest music festival reached a record-breaking audience with an equally genre-breaking programme: from The Roots, Pharoah Sanders and Sons of Kemet to Rokia Traoré, Hermeto Pascoal and Mulatu Astatke. 120 festival venues and a receptive and dedicated audience created a true anniversary celebration in the jazz city of Copenhagen – a birthday across generations both on and in front of the many stages
Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018, which ends late Sunday night, has yet again succeeded in creating a public celebration with unforgettable artistic moments. This year’s festival has even managed to set a new attendance record on three of its largest stages: Kongens Have, Jazz by the Sea at Islands Brygge and in DR Koncerthuset. New acts at the festival such as Rokia Traoré, Jeff Beck, Seu Jorge, The Roots, The Comet Is Coming and Kokoroko were all very well-received by the audience, while recurring headliners such as Brad Mehldau, Kurt Elling, Charles Lloyd and Bill Frisell delivered strong performances to the benefit of both experienced jazz fans as well as newcomers to the genre.
Several Danish acts attracted sizable audiences almost in line with the festival’s international top acts – GinmanBlachmanDahl, DR Big Band, Ibrahim Electric, Jakob Bro, Maluba Orchestra and Kira Skov/Maria Faust ”In The Beginning”. Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018 was also a natural venue for touching memorial concerts for both Butch Lacy and Afonso Corrêa. As per usual, this year’s festival also hosted a long list of young and talented acts with Boujeloud, Horse Orchestra, Sonja LaBianca, Julie Kjær, Athletic Progression and Zier Romme comprising but an exemplary fraction of the Danish jazz scene’s collective talent and artistic width.
Pharoah Sanders last paid a visit to Copenhagen at the very first edition of Copenhagen Jazz Festival in 1979, and this year the spiritual sax legend returned to Copenhagen Jazz Festival for two sold-out nights in Brorsons Kirke. Like Pharoah Sanders, the ‘founding father’ of ethio jazz Mulatu Astatke is a living legend – his two concerts at Islands Brygge during the festival’s last weekend were also very close to selling out completely.
The almost Mediterranean summer weather also played its part and served as an impressive festival backdrop – especially at the many outdoor stages, comprising new venues such as Designmuseum Danmark, Reffen and BLOX, as well as at well-established open air-venues like Vandkunsten, Nyhavn Mindeanker, Balders Plads and others. The Nørrebro-based ALICE was among the new venues at this year’s festival alongside the new venue in Niels Hemmingsens Gade, Hotel Cecil. The secretariat and the board of directors behind the Copenhagen Jazz Festival Foundation wishes to thank the audience, venues, artists and collaborators for co-creating an exhilarating and diverse anniversary celebration. A big thanks to artist Christiane Spangsberg for creating the 40th festival art poster, beloved by the audience. A special thanks to Nordea-fonden (main contributor), The Danish Art Council, Copenhagen Municipality and Frederiksberg Municipality.
Copenhagen Jazz Festival returns in 2019, July 5-14. The nation-wide festival Vinterjazz 2019 takes place on February 1-24.