Jazz artist Jason Shooster: “Music is a social thing” 

Jason Shooster is a musician from Coral Springs, Florida, who is studying at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music.

American-born Jason Shooster is a 33 year-old musician based in Copenhagen. Originally from Coral Springs in Florida, he has been living the expat life for a little while in Thailand, Germany, South Korea and now Denmark. He is currently working towards getting his bachelor’s degree at the Royal Danish Conservatory of Music. For Shooster, Copenhagen was a new step in his life. 

I settled in Denmark because… my wife is Danish so we moved here a little over a year ago. We have now bought a summerhouse and have a dog, so I think we’ll be in Denmark for a little while – a few years at least. 

If you ask me if it was love at first sight or not I would say…. Yes, I’ve always loved the city, but I was always here in the summer. The winter was a little hard to get used to, coming from a sunny place. 

My favourite observation about the music scene in Copenhagen is … that I think there’s a shared relationship between Denmark and the States with the love of jazz. Denmark adopted jazz in the early 1920s or 30s, so it became a very strong scene here – and it’s still a very strong scene here. 

My favourite thing about living in Copenhagen is… that it is cycle friendly. I have a golden retriever and I live in Vesterbro, which is a really dog-friendly neighborhood. So he comes with us to a lot of places. 

 My favourite observation about the Danes is… that they have one foot very far in the future – as in they are very forward thinking – and then one foot very far in the past, in tradition. And I think that’s the most interesting thing to me. They really hold on to these traditions super strong.

I think the best way of making Danish friends is… to find a social hobby, whether it’s sports or something else. For me, it’s music. Even if you’re not a musician, going see music will allow you to meet people.

Here in Denmark/Copenhagen I never get used to… the lack of sun. The winter is really hard to get used to. I’ve only been through one full winter and it’s not the cold that’s an issue, it’s just the dark.

Jeg kan tale… lidt dansk. I mostly understand, but I’m taking classes. I’m just about to finish the third module. 

On an integration scale of 1 to 10, I would say I’m a… 6 but I guess you would have to ask Dane what they think. I would say I’m pretty average ’cause I still hang on to my own ways of doing things.

My tips for visitors to Copenhagen are… I recommend you go to one of the many jazz clubs in town, and also to just go to a bodega, like an old bodega. By going to an old bodega you get to see what community life is, because some of those guys are hanging out there all day, and they’ve been doing it for 30 years or 40 years, or even longer. And then you see what is the real Danish way. 

A great jazz club in Copenhagen is… Charlie’s Scott’s, because it’s accessible and cheap, and always has something going on. For the more high-end stuff, I would say the Jazz house. And for the more free jazz, it’s Christiania.

The best places to visit on a budget are…just walking around you can discover so many nice things. And if you look on Facebook events, there’s always a free event happening, between music, yoga and dance there are a lot of free activities available in Copenhagen. 

Three great food and drink venues are… Mosob restaurant, Kølsters Tolv Haner, Bjælkehuset

The three words that best describe Copenhagen are… Lively, colourful and beautiful