July 8 - 15 2023
Thanks for this year!
Forfatter: Aarhus Jazz Festival
This year, the Aarhus Jazz Festival was a terrific party with jazz in every corner of the city of smiles. We had over 350 concerts in the program and jazz in every corner of Aarhus
It all began with a fantastic opening weekend with high sun and a city full of music-loving people. The audience flocked and our traditional street parade was followed by many from the start. The first reports from the festival's organizers are that they have experienced a lot of attention around the festival and that the concerts have been very well attended. The weather was a bit changeable during the week, but the jazz party continued unabated.
As something new, on our website we gave the audience the opportunity to choose concerts according to their mood. So you could choose a concert based on whether you wanted a musical adventure, wanted to go out and have fun, wanted to dance or wanted to have jazz in full swing.
This made it easy for the audience to navigate the wide-ranging festival, where you can both take a turn in the city's alleys, have intimate experiences with traditional jazz, venture into artistic experiments or experience big international jazz names.
Musikhuset was swinging like never before
Musikhuset Aarhus opened the glass doors and lawn to Musikhuset Swinger. Here you could experience big bands, big stars like Curtis Stigers and Pat Metheny and Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, which celebrated the 100th anniversary of the legend Thad Jones in the company of guest conductor and drummer Dennis Mackrel.
Musikhusparken was transformed into a jazz oasis with both concerts on the outdoor stage and events on the lawn facing Frederiks Allé, where the jazz container Kissa was set up. Here there were lots of children's concerts, knitting and jazz, and the opportunity to lie down in a sun lounger wearing headphones with live broadcasting of the concerts in the Musikhuset.
Domestic violence, great music and intimate concert experiences
One of the big events at this year's festival was a special collaboration with the cinema Øst for Paradis. Here, during the festival, you could experience three unique current jazz documentaries about Danish jazz musicians and in that way get really close to the people behind the music. At the same time, you could experience the musicians from the films in live concerts at the festival.
On Saturday, we opened the evening with a concert with the Danish guitarist Jakob Bro, about whom Jørgen Leth and Andreas Kofoed have made the film Music for Black Pigeons. Jørgen Leth went on stage and with his charismatic voice read from his jazz poems, his more erotic collections and sports poems, while Jakob Bro provided a beautiful background for the words with his guitar. Later in the concert, Jakob Bro was joined by some other great icons of Danish jazz, namely Palle Mikkelborg and Marilyn Mazur.
In Skt Lukas Kirke, the audience experienced composer and saxophonist Maria Faust's beautiful and magnificent work Mass of Mary, which is dedicated to victims of domestic violence. She was accompanied by a large award-winning Estonian choir, who together with 4 instrumentalists gave the audience an intense, shocking and beautiful experience. The next day, in the darkness of the cinema, you could get up close to Maria Faust, her three-year process towards the final work and, not least, her own relationship in the film Machina Faust.
The third film in the program depicted trumpeter Kasper Tranberg's musical journey from Langeland to Tokyo and back. Here, the audience got a very special combined experience with film, solo concert and artist talk on the same ticket.
Free improvisation and musical adventures in the harbour
In Sydhavnen it bubbled all week with musical adventures and playfulness. In the disused industrial buildings, you could be sure to experience music that you could not have expected in advance. Here, they have really put in the effort to give the audience jazz experiences that take them on a musical adventure. During the festival, the organizers in the area presented both well-known names such as Jan Kaspersen on his piano or Kresten Osgood behind the drums, while there was also room for completely new exciting musicians.
From Thursday, Share Improfest kicked off for the third year, where a large number of European musician communities, who all meet for improvisational and experimental music, entered into new constellations every day and presented three concerts in the evening. At first it took place in the raw and charming backyard at Knud's kiosk, while on Saturday they moved indoors, when lightning and thunder rumbled over the freely fabulating notes. On Friday, cruise tourists, churchgoers and other good people could experience the improv musicians in Aarhus Cathedral, who occupied the space for a full four hours.
We meet in jazz
This year's Aarhus Jazz Festival was yet another proof of jazz's ability to both challenge us with new experiences and bring us together in the community of music. The festival allowed musician and audience to meet in the intimate concert space, where tones bind us together. It formed the setting for those who met to enjoy a jazz concert over a beer or a cup of coffee. It passed the music on to new generations with children's jazz and the new Lillejazz concept, which presents family-friendly improv jazz. It featured jam sessions, where musicians met and partied after a long festival day, and where the young musician suddenly discovers that he is playing with his idol. Like when a 16-year-old drummer sat on stage with his big hero from Tower of Power.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this year's jazz festival. It couldn't be done without all of you: audience, musicians, organizers, sponsors and grant givers - and our amazing volunteers.
We look forward to meeting you in jazz again next year!
See photo galleries from Aarhus Jazz Festival 2023