Monday, July 13, 2009

Festivals, festivals

I have just come back from Copenhagen Jazz Festival, lucky enough to be there for 3 days. 100 gigs a day, and over 80% by Danish musicians. The whole city is overrun by jazz. Perhaps the rising preponderance of local musicians is due to economic stringencies, but there is also a great sense of pride in the local scene. Local musicians working with the legendary Yusef Lateef and Palle Mikkelborg celebrating Aura. What's more many of these gigs are free to get in, especially those in the open air. Such as in the square next to the university at Frue Plads or in the N.C Orstedt park near the hotel, where I heard a free improv band including Lotte Anker. Yet playing to several hundred.
The city takes advantage of the fact that much of it is all within walking distance within the old town. Not a cheap town and there seem to be cafes everywhere. In fact, both jazz record shops, Jazzcup and Jazz Kaelderen, seem to be as important as places to eat and drink as to buy music. Well, why not? Jazz is about atmosphere and why not make buying the music as good a part linked to the ambiance as anything else.

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