A hygge-fuelled, floating bastion of the defiant jazz scene since the early 1940s, Denmark’s Copenhagen is a sucker for a good toe-tapping tune, and every winter sees one of the country’s biggest music events take to the snowy landscape stage, with The Vinterjazz Festival. Paralleling the equally large Copenhagen Jazz Festival held every summer, Vinterjazz, opening 1st – 24 th February 2019, keeps the country buzzing with bass and beats as venues across Denmark liven to the blare of the horn.
Vinterjazz is a nationwide music festival that takes place in February each year. The festival spans three weeks featuring more than 600 concerts, 100 venues and 25 independent organizers from all across Denmark – from Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense and Esbjerg to the historic jazz capital of Copenhagen. The combination of the festival’s length and the countrywide aspect makes Vinterjazz an opportunity to meet international stars on tour, new Danish award-winning projects and concert themes.
“Vinterjazz brings attention to jazz. It has the same function as the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in the summer. It creates a curiosity, interest of the media and increased public awareness of a genre that besides a few big names have paradoxically low audience numbers compared to the vast pool of talent it contains.
Jazz is even imprinted on Copenhagen’s urban landscape, with most roads in Sluseholmen named after famous jazz musicians who have played there. Denmark’s Vinterjazz Festival therefore sees classic Scandi style meet with the influence of history, and with a full three weeks offering over 500 concerts in over 100 venues, it’s an international sensation that, for you musically-inclined travelling aficionados, frankly demands a visit.
Vinterjazz takes you from Copenhagen’s internationally acclaimed DR Koncerthuset, built by French architect Jean Nouvel in the guise of a modern, acoustically enhanced cathedral - the recipient of multiple international awards, including Best New Public Construction at the Wallpaper Design Awards – to the smaller Danish cities of Sorø, Lemvig and Sønderborg, where events are organised by local, non-profit communities brimming in easy Scandi charm.
Performing this year is American guitar icon John Scofield, he is no stranger to Copenhagen, having performed numerous concerts here – at The Royal Theatre, in DR Koncerthuset and more. The nationwide Vinterjazz 2019 in February will see a return from the lauded guitarist with two exclusive solo nights at Jazzhus Montmartre.
Ever a pioneer in the world of design, forget seamlessly cool minimal interiors and your favourite Henrik Vibskov ‘Piggy’ piece for a minute, Denmark has forged a jazz scene that collabs with the entire nation, and sees cities great and small, venues grand and mini, turn out and salute all things jazz. And not only this, but twice a year, too.
Vinterjazz is surely something to warm up your cockles in the depths of winter, with a repeat in summer to look forward to. You’ll simply have to book two trips, it seems.
Plonk yourself in Copenhagen’s cool capital just by all the cultural greats, from The Royal Danish Theatre to The Opera House and Charlottenborg Palace, and meet jazz fiends of a similar style in the rooftop conservatory of bohemian glam boutique-luxe hotel, Sanders.
Then peek in our Travel Journal and more Copenhagen inspo with our Must-See Guide to Copenhagen, our Copenhagen Design Guide and indulge in more legacy with Copenhagen and the Ceramics Stage. Don’t even get us started on the fashion, there’s just too much.