Aarhus Jazz Festival

Aarhus Jazz Festival
A selection of artists that have played Aarhus Jazz Festival
GenreJazz, blues, experimental jazz and jazz-influenced rhythmic and electronic music.
DatesEight days in July
Location(s)Århus, Denmark
Years active1989 - present
WebsiteAarhus Jazz Festival

Aarhus Jazz Festival (formerly Aarhus International Jazz Festival) is an eight-day jazz festival in Aarhus, Denmark. It is held every year in July, August or September.[1][2] The festival performs at the Aarhus Concert Hall,[3] as well as many different venues across the city. Many concerts are played outdoors in the public space and are for free.[4] Aarhus Jazz Festival has been awarded with the European Effe Label in 2017-2018. The 2018 festival was held from 14 to 21 July and the 2019 festival takes place from 13 to 20 July.[5]


Initiated in 1988 by Musikhuset and local venues, Aarhus Jazz Festival has been an annual summer event in the city since 1989. The festival is bent on featuring new talents in jazz as well as both local and international stars. From the beginning, the festival has featured many notable and world-renowned international jazz stars and bands such as Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, The Zawinul Syndicate, Clark Terry, Mike Stern and John Scofield - some of them several times - in a mix with more local notables such as John Tchicai, Jesper Thilo, Svend Asmussen, Ed Thigpen, Cæcilie Norby, Sinne Eeg, Marilyn Mazur, Pierre Dørge and Alex Riel. The programme is quite broad in its musical choices, often including world renowned blues performers like B.B.King, Bonnie Raitt, John Mayall or Danish blues acts like Kenn Lendings Blues Band, Shades of Blue or The Blue Junction. Alternative musical styles with jazz-influences have been represented by artists such as Nitin Sawhney, Sting, Dr. John, Abdullah Ibrahim and The Roots in a mix with many local, new or unknown names. [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

The festival has grown considerably in the 2010s; in 2014 it featured 230 concerts at 29 venues, while in 2018, the festival celebrated its 30th anniversary with more than 360 concerts across 42 venues.[14][15]

From 2014 to 2017 when Aarhus was European Capital of Culture, Aarhus Jazz Festival turned its focus towards European jazz; jazz from Poland in particular, since the city of Wrocław was Capital of Culture in 2016.[16][17] The 2016 festival took a deliberate focus on the women in jazz, and included international female artists like Melody Gardot, Sarah McKenzie and Lizz Wright and that years poster also featured Hiromi Uehara. Both the 2016 and 2017 festivals were expanded to last 10 days and also included world music concerts in addition to the more rigid jazz programme.[18]

Stan Getz was the first international artist to play at Aarhus Jazz festival in 1989 and as a homage, the 2018 festival played his music at several concerts.[15] The 2019 festival will celebrate 100 years of jazz music in Aarhus.


Graphic designer Finn Nygaard, himself from Aarhus and a lover of jazz music, has created many of the festival posters. [6][19] He received design awards for these posters in 1990, 1991, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2002.[20][21]

See also


  1. ^ JazzTimes. JazzTimes, Inc. May 1998. p. 171. ISSN 0272-572X.
  2. ^ The International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002. Psychology Press. 2002. pp. 620–. ISBN 978-1-85743-161-2.
  3. ^ "1998 Jazz n Blues". JazzTimes. JazzTimes, Inc. May 1998. p. 171. ISSN 0272-572X.
  4. ^ Mark Sabbatini (1 August 2005). "The 2005 Aarhus International Jazz Festival". All About Jazz. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  5. ^ Aarhus Jazz Festival: De kommende års Aarhus Jazz Festival (in Danish)
  6. ^ a b "Aarhus Jazz Festival 1989-2016". Aarhus Jazz Festival. Retrieved 27 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Aarhus International Jazz Festival 1989-2014". European Rail Guide. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Live reviews" (in Danish). Gaffa. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  9. ^ "I Think You're Awesome" (in Danish). Aarhus Jazz Festival. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  10. ^ Kenn Lending Archived 2014-08-08 at the Wayback Machine Kenn Lendings official homepage
  11. ^ Kenn Lending Blues Band Musikformidlingen (in Danish)
  12. ^ Shades of Blue Official homepage. English available
  13. ^ The Blue Junction Archived 2014-08-08 at the Wayback Machine Official homepage (in Danish)
  14. ^ "Jazz Program 2014" (PDF). Aarhus Jazz Festival. pp. 2, 47. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Jazz festival in Aarhus rounds the 30 with full speed on the music".
  16. ^ "Jazz Program 2014" (PDF). Aarhus Jazz Festival. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Aarhus Jazz festival med unge og europæiske artister" (in Danish). Jazz Danmark. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  18. ^ "Et kludetæppe af jazz er klar til Aarhus". Jyllands-Posten Aarhus.
  19. ^ Dickson, Thomas (2009). Dansk design (in Danish). Gyldendal A/S. pp. 500–. ISBN 978-87-02-07768-1.
  20. ^ "Awards/Publications/Articles". Finn Nygaard Inc. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  21. ^ Heller, Martin (1994). Who's who in Graphic Design. Benteli-Werd Verlags. p. 1995.

External links

  • Official website
  • Mark Sabbatini: The 2005 Aarhus International Jazz Festival All About Jazz (1 August 2005). Retrieved on 5 August 2014. A review.
  • Sommerens jazzfestivaler i Danmark Jazz Denmark. Short reviews of Danish jazz festivals in the summer. (in Danish)
  • The Ultimate Guide to jazz festivals in Europe (Denmark) jazzfests.net
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