The Danish Radio Big Band (aka DR Big Band), often referred to as the Radioens Big Band is a radio ensemble and big band founded in Copenhagen in 1964 at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR).
Originally called the New Radio Dance Orchestra, in the early years the band was led by Ib Glindemann. But over the next few decades many new faces joined, such as Chris Potter, Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer, Jim McNeely, and guest soloists like Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Joe Henderson.
The band is one of the premiere large jazz ensembles in Denmark, the Danish Radio Big Band (aka DR Big Band) is a dynamic ensemble with a sophisticated approach to post-bop jazz and swing. Although a spotlight organization in their own right with a roster of top Danish musicians, they have built a strong reputation for their many collaborations and recordings with world-renowned jazz soloists. Founded as the New Radio Dance Orchestra in 1964 by bandleader Ib Glindemann, the DR Big Band was initially an outgrowth of the then-Danish Broadcasting Corporation Danmarks Radio's desire to represent jazz in the country and over the airwaves. Since 2009, the band has been based out of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation's Copenhagen complex DR Byen, or "DR City," along with several other nationally funded arts ensembles.
As a recording outfit, the DR Big Band debuted in 1970 with Brownsville Trolley, which featured the band led by saxophonist/composer Ray Pitts and trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg. However, the band's output increased throughout the decade under the leadership of famed trumpeter Thad Jones, who had relocated to Copenhagen. During this period, they delivered such well-regarded albums as 1978's By Jones, I think we've got it, and 1979's A good time was had by all. There were also numerous live performances during the band's first three decades, including dates with such luminaries as Stan Kenton, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Freddie Hubbard, and many more.
More albums followed in the '90s and found the band starting to showcase artists like saxophonist and guest conductor Ernie Wilkins (Suite for Jazz Band) and Danish saxophonist Jesper Thilo. They also released albums paying homage to the music of Jones and Duke Ellington. This trend of showcasing an artist and their work continued over the next decade as the band played with such luminaries as Thomas Clausen, Toots Thielemans, Renee Rosnes, Eivor Palsdottir, Jim McNeely, and others.
In 2009, they paired with longtime Wynton Marsalis drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts for Impaler, followed a year later by Chromazone with guitarist Mike Stern. Similarly, trumpeter Randy Brecker was the focus of 2011's The Jazz Ballad Song Book. Also that year, lauded saxophonist Chris Potter joined the group for Transatlantic. More albums followed, including works with Richard Bona, Vincent Nilsson, and the band's own trumpeter Gerard Presencer (Groove Travels). Vocalist Curtis Stigers collaborated with the ensemble for his 2017 Frank Sinatra salute One More for the Road. That same year, they delivered the live album Charlie Watts Meets the Danish Radio Big Band, which showcased a 2010 performance with the iconic Rolling Stones drummer.
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, also known by his abbreviated nickname NHØP, was a Danish jazz double bassist.
Bo Stief is a Danish jazz and rock bassist, composer, and arranger born in Copenhagen.
The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra was a jazz big band formed by trumpeter Thad Jones and drummer Mel Lewis in New York in 1965. The band performed for twelve years in its original incarnation, including a 1972 tour of the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War. The collaboration ended in 1978 with Jones suddenly moving to Copenhagen, Denmark, after which the band became the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra. Since the death of Lewis in 1990 it has been known as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. They have maintained a Monday-night residency at the Village Vanguard jazz club in New York for five decades. The band won Grammy Awards for the album Live in Munich in 1978 and for the album Monday Night Live at the Village Vanguard in 2009.
Thaddeus Joseph Jones was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader who has been called "one of the all-time greatest jazz trumpet soloists".
Jim McNeely is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and faculty.
Richard Bently Boone was an American jazz trombonist and scat singer.
Aura is a concept album by Miles Davis, produced by Danish composer/trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg, released in 1989. All compositions and arrangements are by Mikkelborg, who created the suite in tribute when Davis received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in December 1984, the year Decoy was released. This was Miles Davis' final album released in his lifetime.
Irene Louise Rosnes, known professionally as Renee Rosnes, is a Canadian jazz pianist, composer, and arranger.
Palle Mikkelborg is a Danish jazz trumpet player, composer, arranger and record producer.
Jazzhus Montmartre is a jazz club in Copenhagen, Denmark. Many jazz musicians, including Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, and Chet Baker, have performed there. It is sometimes called Cafe Montmartre. The Montmartre was located first in Dahlerupsgade, then from 1961 on Store Regnegade, and since 1976 at Nørregade 41 before closing down in 1995. In May 2010, it reopened at Store Regnegade 19A by media executive and entrepreneur Rune Bech and jazz pianist Niels Lan Doky, who was later replaced as music director by saxophonist Benjamin Koppel and then jazz publisher Christian Brorsen. In 2016, Swedish jazz pianist Jan Lundgren was appointed artistic director.
Jesper Thilo is a Danish jazz musician, mainly known as a tenor saxophonist, alto saxophonist and clarinetist. He is considered to be one of the top European straight-ahead jazz musicians of the post-1970 period. Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins were early influences, while he later developed a highly personal sound reminiscent of Zoot Sims.
Rolf Billberg was a Swedish alto saxophone player active during the 1950s and 1960s.
Allan Botschinsky was a Danish jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist, composer, arranger, conductor, producer, and record label owner.
Danish jazz dates back to 1923 when Valdemar Eiberg formed a jazz orchestra and recorded what are thought to be the first Danish jazz records in August 1924. However, jazz in Denmark is typically first dated to 1925, when bandleader Sam Wooding toured in Copenhagen with an orchestra. This was the first time most Danes had heard jazz music. Some prominent early Danish jazz musicians include Erik Tuxen who formed a jazz band and was later named conductor of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Bernhard Christensen, an art music composer who incorporated jazz elements into his pieces, and Sven Møller Kristensen, who was the lyricist for many of Bernhard Christensen's pieces and who wrote a book on jazz theory in Danish.
Thomas Fryland is a Danish jazz trumpeter
Jesper Lundgaard is a Danish jazz bassist, bandleader, composer and record producer. Since his debut in the mid-1970s, he has been among the most prominent bassists in Danish jazz and as a sideman he has appeared on more than 400 albums both with Danish and leading American jazz musicians.
Bent Jædig was a Danish jazz musician. He played tenor saxophone and flute.
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen was a Danish jazz double bassist.
Vincent Nilsson is a Swedish jazz trombonist and arranger.
Miho Hazama is a Tokyo-born composer and jazz musician, based in New York City.