New era at a new Jazzhouse

Fresh, innovative musicians fill the stage during the 21st Century Jazz series at the newly renovated and spiffed-up Copenhagen Jazzhouse.

Considered to be the country’s national stage of jazz, in recent years the Jazzhouse has become intimately entwined with the jazz festival – first receiving programming partnership, and just last year falling under the stewardship and direction of the festival’s experienced general manager, Signe Lopdrup.  The collaboration is natural: the bright beacon of the jazz festival has found an anchor at the city’s foremost jazz club.

A great challenge was presented to this new partnership when monsoon-like rainfall poured down on the city on the second day of the 2011 Copenhagen Jazz Festival.  Concerts were delayed as floods occurred in parts of the city after a deluge of more than 150mm (six inches) of water.  After cancelling the concerts immediately after the storm, the Jazzhouse went on with their regular scheduled programme, but discovered after the festival that the water damage was so severe that a complete renovation would be required.  The doors reopened this June 1 to a refreshed club that lives up to its name as the country’s top place for its most beloved music.

“Everything has changed. We have moved the stage and have a new bar.  It is a new room and a new experience,” said Lopdrup. “The Jazzhouse is so important for Copenhagen’s jazz scene. We think of ourselves as a cultural institution, presenting a modern and progressive Danish and international jazz scene in Copenhagen and becoming the primary jazz club in Scandinavia.”

Nothing has changed in the Jazzhouse’s programming, dubbed ‘21st Century Jazz’, during the jazz festival: it is still the top place to enjoy the best artists in the most intimate environment.

“We have booked a programme that is looking forward and not just celebrating the past,” said Lopdrup.  “We want to make a statement with this programme at the festival. This is jazz that is moving forward, not just how it once was.”

Read on for a top choice and a couple of highlights among the many great offerings if your jazz dance card is filling up quickly.


Joe Lovano/Dave Douglas Quintet
It is a special opportunity to be able to see two of jazz’s finest musicians and band leaders at such an intimate setting.  Lovano and Douglas have each commanded concert halls and received plenty of recognition.  Lovano has over 30 albums under his belt and won a Grammy award during his illustrious career, yet his saxophone remains as seductively powerful as they come.  Douglas is innovative and fresh on the trumpet, garnering awards and recognition from near and far.  Together they lead a dynamic quintet for a two-night stay at the Jazzhouse that promises to be one of the festival’s best bets.

Sunday July 8 and Monday July 9, 21:00; 270kr



Ambrose Akinmusire
That is the thing about the Jazzhouse – it attracts the best young musicians in the industry.  It is never enough to just accept the credit handed out by the critics and merely listen to the artists’ albums – you need to be there in person to find out if a musician really has what it takes.  Everyone says that Ambrose Akinmusire is the real deal and therefore his concert alongside his quintet is an anticipated event.  This 30-year-old trumpeter is on the rise, and catching him at the Jazzhouse this evening is a decision that you’ll look back at with pride.

Friday July 6, 21:00; 180kr


Neneh Cherry and the Thing
The singer Neneh Cherry achieved fame in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s for her forays into hip-hop and soul.  In her musical career she has met and collaborated with artists in many spectrums, yet she returns to her jazz roots (her stepfather is the great cornetist Don Cherry) for a new collaboration with a Swedish/Norwegian jazz group, The Thing.  Together they have released an acclaimed album called The Cherry Thing and their free jazz improvisations range from the music of Don Cherry to Ornette Coleman, to the Velvet Underground.

Tuesday July 10, 21:00; 270kr


21st Century Jazz
Copenhagen Jazzhouse, Niels Hemmingsens Gade 10, Cph K; tickets from;



   Download our 2012 Copenhagen Jazz Festival guide