A warm welcome: Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018 starts Friday

The year is 2018, and this means that Copenhagen Jazz Festival and the city of Copenhagen have been in a relationship for 40 years. We plan to celebrate this in a few ways.

We have created a book of posters, recalling the festival’s history in a new way – both visually through the artistic posters from each year as well as via a concurrent run-through of each year’s most important venues and organizers, written by one of the most learned jazz and Copenhagen Jazz Festival historians, journalist Kjeld Frandsen. The book tells the winding and exciting tale of Copenhagen Jazz Festival’s evolution as influenced by the constant and simultaneous reinvention of jazz. Christiane Spangsberg is the visual artist behind Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018’s original and poetic art poster included in the book.

Another celebration of the first 40 editions is the expansion of our traditional activities in Kongens Have, extended from three to nine days with a diverse line-up of gratis concerts, served with organic craft beer from Svaneke Brewery.

International headliners keep coming back
This year’s international headliners cover a lot of creative ground, from jazzy hip hop with The Roots to British guitar-virtuoso Jeff Beck to Brazilian renditions of classic hits from David Bowie by Seu Jorge and beyond. World music is represented as well, with performances by Rokie Traoré, Mulatu Astatke, Hermeto Pascoal and many others. 2018 also sees a return from one of the very first performers at Copenhagen Jazz Festival 1979, when legend Pharoah Sanders plays to sold-out shows in Brorsons Kirke.

Jazzhus Montmartre was the most happening place back then. Today, there’s been a decentralisation and diversification of venues. 2017 meant a goodbye to the much-lauded Jazzhouse and a welcome to ALICE – an entirely new venue created by the joint forces behind former venues Global and Jazzhouse. Venues such as La Fontaine, JazzCup, Jazzhus Montmartre, Huset, 5e and KoncertKirken alongside organizers like Cowbell, ILK, Barefoot, Fringe Jazz and Jazz Club Loco continue their tradition of hosting jazz year round.

Jazz takes over the streets
The spirit of jazz has been a natural part of Copenhagen for as long as most locals can even remember, and this is evident not just in the city’s music, but also in the pulsating streets and hearts that make up Copenhagen itself. Copenhagen Jazz Festival has been a vital catalyst and progressor in this ‘jazzification’ for the last 40 years and will continue to be so for years to come.

We would like to give a big thanks to our main contributor Nordea-fonden as well as the Copenhagen Municipality, Statens Kunstfond and the many financial foundations enabling a long list of lesser, but equally important special projects. Thanks to the audience, the artists and the curators and mediators, and most of all a very big thanks to jazz itself.