Taking it easy in a cool sea breeze

The sounds of faraway coastlines will wash onto Denmark’s shores this July when the Copenhagen Jazz Festival comes to town. This year ‘Jazz by the Sea’ will explore music from every corner of the globe, featuring acts from Cuba, Africa and the United States to name a few. The music in this category oozes feeling and delves deep into the heart of some of these countries’ oppressive histories.

‘Ninety Miles (from Miami to Havana)’ is one performance that exemplifies the fusion of different national jazz traditions, revealing the interconnectedness of jazz from the Caribbean, New Orleans and Cuba. Cuban jazz is commonly seen as a combination of European and African culture, as the music was created largely by Spanish immigrants and African slaves brought to the island. The Africans who worked on the sugar plantations, and their descendants, were talented percussionists. While they brought drums into the mix, the Spaniards added some flamenco flavour with the guitar and most importantly, European music notation and composition techniques. In recent years, the music has drawn on influences from other musical genres and different countries. But the exchange of ideas can go both ways, as seen in the work of the New Orleans’ Nicholas Payton, Puerto Rica’s David Sánchez and America’s Stefon Harris (see listing below).  

From Havana to another coastal city, Lagos, Tony Allen invites ‘Jazz by the Sea’ listeners along for a wonderful Afrobeat experience as he presents ‘Black Series – from Detroit to Lagos’ (details below). Afrobeat is a frenetic combination of jazz, highlife and the funky sounds of the ‘70s. This frenetic style of music will transport those at the open air Kulturhuset to faraway Nigeria. No matter how much you loathe dancing in public, this brand of jazz is guaranteed to get your muscle fibres twitching to the beat.


Sinne Eeg

With five albums to her name, Sinne Eeg is a well-loved fixture on Denmark’s jazz scene. The singer has won several local awards, including ‘Best Jazz Vocal Album’ in 2007 and 2010 at the Danish Music Awards, and the ‘Danish Radio Jazz Award’ in 2009. Armed with a warm and expressive voice, and an impressive vocal range to boot, Eeg will impress jazz-goers with her onstage charisma and class.

Kulturhuset Islands Brygge, Islands Brygge 18; Saturday July 7, 20:00; Tickets: 140kr, www.politikenbillet.www2.dk




Concha Buika

Though her heritage lies in Equatorial Guinea, Concha Buika draws on influences from her adopted Spanish home in her music. Growing up in Mallorca, the singer spent much of her time befriending gypsy families and making music with them. Those musical influences are now evident in Buika’s compositions, which tie in cante flamenco, coplas, soul and jazz. Recruiting a devoted fan-base following the release of her 2005 self-titled debut, Buika has gone from strength to strength. Her latest album Mi Niña Lola won the award for ‘Best Produced Album’ at Spain’s most prestigious music awards, Premios de la Musica.

Kulturhuset Islands Brygge, Islands Brygge 18; Tuesday July 10, 20:00; Tickets: 180kr, www.politikenbillet.www2.dk

Ninety Miles (from Miami to Havana)
Like its name suggests, this performance celebrates the meeting of two musical cultures situated 90 miles apart from one another. Miami and Havana have a strong history – as many as 14,000 Cuban children were sent to Miami by their parents in the early 1960s – soon after Fidel Castro came to power. Combining jazz traditions from both countries, New Orleans-born trumpeter Nicholas Payton, Puerto Rican saxophonist David Sánchez, and New York vibraphonist Stefon Harris form a vibrant onstage partnership.
Kulturhuset Islands Brygge, Islands Brygge 18; Wednesday July 11, 20:00; Tickets: 140kr, www.politikenbillet.www2.dk


BLACK SERIES – from Detroit to Lagos
Tony Allen has had a big claim to fame. He has been referred to as the creator of the explosive musical subgenre: Afrobeat. The gifted drummer has been perfecting his technique over the past four decades, honing a style that sends his audience into a frenzy that celebrates the joy of music. This time the legend is featured alongside Detroit keyboardist, singer, songwriter and producer Joseph ‘Amp’ Fiddler.
Kulturhuset Islands Brygge, Islands Brygge 18; Thursday July 12, 20:00; Tickets: 180kr, www.politikenbillet.www2.dk


Jazz by the Sea
Kulturhuset Islands Brygge, Islands Brygge 18, Cph S; tickets: 8233 4780, k-i-b@kff.kk.dk



   Download our 2012 Copenhagen Jazz Festival guide