Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2012 – from Shorter to Shankar
The 34th edition of Copenhagen Jazz Festival will begin this Friday, which means that Copenhagen’s most beautiful concert halls once again will serve as venues for the festival’s most prominent concerts – from the legendary saxophone player and composer, Wayne Shorter, who will perform at The Royal Theater’s Old Stage to sitar phenomenon Anoushka Shankar who will enthrall her audience at Koncerthuset.
Under the theme of Concert Hall Events an exclusive program will be presented boasting names that each in their own way will fill out the large venues. In addition to Wayne Shorter and Anoushka Shankar, you will be able to hear the tribute concert to Miles Davis “Miles Smiles”, the guitar icon John Scofield, the pianist and improviser Brad Mehldau as well as the Danish indie group Choir of Young Believers, who will give a unique concert based on their captivating new album “Rhine Gold”.
Brad Mehldau Trio (US) The honor of opening the theme Concert Hall Events has befallen the superb American pianist Brad Mehldau, who will perform at the Old Stage on Saturday July 7th with his trio consisting of Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums. Together the three of them have pioneered a new and innovative expression within the classical jazz tradition, and music lovers all over the world have already embraced their sound. This is also true in Denmark, where the trio’s audience has outgrown Jazzhouse size, which is why they will now get the chance to hear the trio play at one of the city’s most prominent concert halls. Mehldau is famous both as an outstanding improviser and for his many cover versions of popular music such as Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” and the Beatles’ “Martha My Dear”. The trio’s most recent album “Ode” has been praised all over the world, and it is the original material from this album the trio will perform at the Old Stage.
Anoushka Shankar (UK/IN) On Tuesday July 8th, the day after Mehldau’s concert at the Old Stage, Koncerthuset opens its architectural and acoustic pearl of a concert hall for the Indian sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar. She is the only artist to have been trained exclusively by her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar, and so she has had a lot to live up to. However, Anoushka has long ago played her way out of her father’s shadow and has been internationally recognized as a virtuous and original instrumentalist. After having firmly established herself in Indian classical music, Anoushka then began experimenting with a fertile crossover mix of Indian and Western musical styles. In May of this year she was named “Best Artist” in the prestigious Songlines Awards 2012, for her album Traveller (2011), in which she embraces the heritage of flamenco from its origins in India to its home in Spain. This evening at Koncerthuset, Shankar will present music from this album, bringing together the passionate and diverse music of Spain with the vibrant, ancient forms of the Indian classical tradition. Tracing the musical commonalities of the Gypsies’ journey from their homeland
in Rajasthan and finally settling in Spain, Anoushka re-forges the link, separated by a thousand years, between Spanish and Indian music.
PM Line-up: Anoushka Shankar (sitar), Sandra Carresco (voc), Pirashanna Thevarajah (Indian perc), ‘Taalis’ (flamenco percussion), Sanjeev Shankar (shehnai), Melon Jiminez (flamenco guitar)
“Miles Smiles” (US) On Monday July 9th “Miles Smiles” brings together an all-star cast of Miles Davis alumni: Grammy winning blues superstar Robben Ford, Grammy winner Kenny Garrett, organist Joey DeFrancesco, Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones, Omar Hakim (formerly of the Weather Report and Sting's Blue Turtles band), and Miles Davis’ sole trumpet protégé Wallace Roney.
The Miles in “Miles Smiles” is of course Miles Davis the master trumpet artist who is widely considered the 20th century’s most influential jazz musician. He was at the forefront of the development of the American jazz music tradition. As a bandleader, Davis garnered and mentored some of the most prominent musicians of the 20th century. The album "Miles Smiles" was released in 1967 and immediately caused uproar because of its high and inspired quality. Davis recorded the album with his famed Second Quintet, which included pianist Herbie Hancock and saxophonist Wayne Shorter. This evening at the Old Stage, the memory of Miles Smiles will be evoked by a special group of all stars, who all have their own history with the legendary trumpet artist.
The Royal Theater, Old Stage, July 9, 8.00 PM Line-up: Kenny Garrett (s), Wallace Roney (tp), Robben Ford (g), Joey DeFrancesco (tp, Hammond B3), Darryl Jones (b), Omar Hakim (dr)
Wayne Shorter Quartet (US) The day after, on Tuesday July 10th, the Old Stage will be taken over by another musician who has played with Miles Davies as a key member in his famous “Second Quintet”. On this evening the American saxophonist, Wayne Shorter, will demonstrate his prowess both as a composer and improviser. Shorter is regarded as one of the most significant and prolific performers and composers in jazz. His continually expanding body of work is inextricably linked to the history of modern music. His music transcends genre while keeping the improvisational genius and surprise of jazz burning at the center. His long career has given birth to classics such as “Footprints”, “Infant Eyes”, “Nefertiti” and “Pinocchio”, but even If Shorter had never written a single tune, his signature sound and choice of notes, sense of economy and unparalleled expression on both tenor and soprano saxes alone would have earmarked him for greatness. Combine the writing prowess with the fragmented, probing solos and his enigmatic Buddhist philosopher’s presence and you have the makings of a jazz immortal.
At the Old Stage concert, Shorter will play with his Quartet consisting of pianist Danilo Perez, bass player John Patitucci and drummer Jorge Rossy. Together with them the 78-year-old saxophone
player creates some of the most powerful music of his career.
The Royal Theatre, Old Stage, July 10, 8.00 PM Line-up: Wayne Shorter (s), Danilo Peréz (p), John Patitucci (b), Jorge Rossy (dr)
Choir of Young Believers “Rhine Gold” Ensuing three nights of world class jazz in the Royal Theater is a short break on Thursday the 12 th of July, as the Danish indie band Choir of Young Believers take over the old cultural institution with a special performance of their masterpiece “Rhine Gold”. The concert will play out in two acts: In the first act, the band will give an acoustic rendition of rarely played tunes from their back catalog with help from special guests. In the second act, they will go electric and for the first time ever perform “Rhine Gold” in its full length from beginning to end. In this way, Choir of Young Believers will give converts as well as yet-to-be converts a unique concert experience in beautiful surroundings.
The Royal Theatre, Old Stage, July 12, 8.00 PM Line-up: Choir of young believers + very special guests
The John Scofield Hollowbody Band (US) + support: Girls In Airports (DK) After a small detour to indie land the program for the Old Stage reverts back to jazz land when the American guitarist John Scofield and his Hollowbody band closes the theme for this year on Friday the 13th of July. Talking of great jazz guitarists, only few can match Scofield – or Sco as he is lovingly called. Throughout his career, which is running on its fourth decade, the American “guitar slinger” has played with everyone who’s anyone: Miles, Mingus, Hancock and Baker to mention a few. The Hollowbody project, named after the guitar, employs the huge tonal color palette of the instrument featuring Scofield’s arrangements for the ensemble. Joining the expedition is Scofield’s younger colleague Kurt Rosenwinkel. Scofield has previously played with great guitarists such as Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell. With Rosenwinkel, however, he has joined forces with one of the most important guitarist from the younger generation. There is no doubt that sparks will fly when these two greats meet in a mesmerizing live performance.
The Royal Theater, Old Stage, July 13, 9.00 PM Line-up: John Scofield (g), Kurt Rosenwinkel (g), Ben Street (b), Bill Stewart (dr) + Girls in Airports: Martin Stender (s), Lars Greve (s, cl), Mathias Holm (keys), Victor Dybbroe (perc), Mads Forsby (dr)