(Copenhagen & Fredericksburg, Denmark) – It’s Autumn, and once again, it’s time for “Blue Copenhagen.” For 5 days, starting Wednesday Sept. 28-Oct 2, the Blues will sound all over the city, and we invite all blues fans to visit the city’s many clubs and venues for a week of world class international blues, and some very good homegrown blues.
The Blues is many things, it is tradition, but also innovation and evolution. The festival is famous for its presentation of The Blues in a fine balance between tradition and new expressions, and their constant musical ambition is to cover all styles of blues and to present a program of the highest possible international level. So, as always, you’ll find the seasoned blues veterans performing alongside some very talented young artists, who will carry the torch into the future.
The festival week offers about 50 blues concerts at 18 venues all over town, and you’ll find almost all styles and variations of The Blues: from acoustic delta, folk, country, ragtime to urban, funky blues, Chicago, New Orleans, swampy Mississippi, blistering Texas boogie and power blues-rock, jumpin’ & jivin’ Westcoast blues, jazz-blues and trail breaking new cross-over styles.
Among the international artists appearing this year at Bartof Station, Fredericksberg are:
Thursday, Toronzo Cannon and his incredibly tight band from Chicago. He is one of the most promising new acts on the scene, taking over from the ‘old guard,’ who are retiring, or are now only playing in Blues Heaven. Toronzo also plays in a double concert with Chris Thomas King – solo – from New Orleans. Among many accolades, King also appeared in the movie, Oh Brother Where Art Thou.
Friday, Damon Fowler from Florida, one of the best lap-steel guitarists today, will be supported by one of Danish blues’ most promising new acts, The Blues Overdrive.
Saturday, Earl Thomas, soul-blues star from San Diego, is touring with his new band and his new, strong CD, Crow. Also this evening, Chis Thomas King performs a 2nd solo concert.
For fans of more jazzy, cross-over style music, as a special treat, Amager Bio presents Steve Gadd, one of the best drummers in the world, and his band.
As usual, the city is crawling with Danish blues of all styles, forms, shapes and sizes: Delta Blues Band, Thorbjoern Risager & The Black Tornado, Billy Cross, Ole Frimer Band, Jake Green Band, The Mojo Makers, Troels Jensen, H.P. Lange and many more.
A few new constellations see the light of day, Esben Just Trio featuring Poul Halberg, Rasmus Dissing,
H.P. Lange & Nisse Thorbjoern, Robert Johnson Tribute, Blues Jamboree and others.
The programme also has very strong female representation with Miriam Mandipira, Lea Thorlann, Girls Club with Sahra da Silva, Louise Høegh and Sara Broberg, and from London, Samantha Antoinette, who appears with several exiting line-ups.
On Tuesday before the official opening, they showed the concert documentary, Hail! Hail! Rock’n’Roll (1986) at Cinemateket. Since Chuck Berry celebrates his 90th birthday in October, the film is to pay tribute to a great blues and rock ’n’ roll musician, who, along with contemporary artists like Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, Elvis Presley etc., left a significant musical heritage, that still inspires and influences today’s artists, and many of this festival’s bands. The film features some the greatest stars of the time who play Chuck Berry’s music and tell about his life and his impact on the music scene.
The festival officially opened Wednesday, Sept. 28th, with the traditional Blues Award Night presenting awards for “Danish Blues Artists of the Year” and “Danish Blues Album of the Year.”
After the award ceremony the evening continued with a great After Party show with Smalltown Blues Band and several guest artists, among others the new award recipients and a few previously awarded artists and maybe a few surprises.
Sunday night has its own music award, when Amager Bio presents the ”Gudman of the Year” award, this time to the late, world famous bass player Hugo Rasmussen, who passed away last year 74 years old.
Mojo has their blues jam Thursday night, and Friday you can get out and ‘shake your bootie’, when Blues Dancing CPH has blues dance instruction and blues party at Prismen. Sunday afternoon Grundtvig Church holds a Blues Sermon, followed by a concert with Miriam Mandipira and Kjeld Lauritsen’s Trio.
‘Blue Copenhagen’ is usually blessed with a beautiful ‘Indian Summer’ weather. We hope that the Global climate changes leave us alone again this year, so people can enjoy their walks to and from the many venues and great musical experiences that await them.