Like Ronnie Scott’s, but in Charlie Scott’s

CPH Harbour Jazz – If you missed Ronnie Scott’s in the 1960s in London, or 52nd Street’s string of jazz clubs in New York City, now all gone – great jazz venues where ice cube glasses tinkled to the riffs of musician superstars – or only heard about these joints from dads or uncles who romanced dames with cigarettes and drinks in hand while superstars like Gerry Mulligan  unceremoniously but professionally played their most famous tunes, don’t worry.  Because this weekend, a similar atmosphere will prevail at the Copenhagen Harbour Jazz festival, where ‘traditional’ jazz will be available at numerous clubs along the water and connectable by water taxis. Cool idea!

Now in its fifth year, Copenhagen Harbour Jazz is an offshoot of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. According to festival organiser Lotte Lander, the idea came about on a cold December night in 2007, where those gathered agreed that the annual jazz festival, as it increased in size, had started to distance itself from the spontaneity and proximity that had defined its humble beginnings in the 1980s. It seems that they may be also responding to the fact that increasingly, worldwide, jazz is limited to concert halls and other venues as it obtains specialised status along the lines of classical music, or else is a one-time visiting thing, promoted by tours.  

“We have succeeded in presenting four festivals so far,” festival organiser Lotte Lander told InOut.

“We are not supported by local authorities. Instead, volunteer helpers, sympathetic sponsors and venues, and enthusiastic musicians have helped tremendously to make this undertaking a hit – much to the joy of guests and players.”

Lander is particularly excited  by the number of young musicians making their debuts.

“We have been blessed with many fine musicians over the years, and the festival finds it especially rewarding that up to 40 percent are younger players performing traditional jazz their own way and also mixing with ‘older’ colleagues on stage,” she said. “Hopefully, this will also appeal to the younger segment of the audience.”

Three venues in Cph K: Tango Y Vinos, Herluf Trolles Gade 9; Nyhavns Ankeret, Nyhavn; Charlie Scott’s, Skindergade 43; starts Fri, ends Sun, open Fri 13:30-00:00, Sat 14:00-00:00, Sun 15:00-18:30; tickets: 80kr per event, 160kr per day, 50kr for jazz cruise, mail@lottelander.dk, 2681 6903; www.harbourjazz.dk

TOP PICK:
Jazz Cruise – The Queen of Jazz has been commissioned especially for the festival. Gather at Nyhavns Ankeret (the Nyhavn Anchor) to mount the Queen and join the cruise.  Live jazz music will be played throughout the tour around Copenhagen Harbour and adjacent canals, paying visits to Holmen and Toldboden, before the entourage returns to Nyhavn. It’s also possible to participate in the tour.
Nyhavn; Fri 13:30-15:00