JazzDanmark is the recipient of the EJN Award for Music & Community 2020



During the annual EJN General Assembly of Members 2020, that took place on 10 September 2020 for the first time entirely online, the winner of the third EJN Award for Music & Community was announced. The EJN Board of Directors have decided to award JazzDanmark for their outstanding achievements in the area of music and community:

“Congratulations to JazzDanmark! For many years, JazzDanmark has been recognised as a leader in best practice in the area of social inclusion, with a particular emphasis on gender balance in jazz. Via projects that address the specific topic of empowering women and girls to embrace jazz and by working across diverse, refugee communities, the EJN and the wider jazz community, recognises that JazzDanmark’s engagement with social inclusion is a role model, admired by institutions and organisations across Europe. JazzDanmark has created sustainable formulas that carry universal messages. By looking into the future and planting the seeds of creativity among the youngest members of different communities and societies, JazzDanmark’s legacy will be heard, seen and felt way into the future."

The EJN Board of Directors 2019-2020
Jan Ole Otnæs - President​ (Nasjonal jazzscene – Victoria, Norway), Martel Ollerenshaw - Vice-President (Australian Music Centre, Australia), Edin Zubcevic - Secretary (JazzFest Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Kenneth Killeen - Treasurer (Improvised Music Company, Ireland), Lobke Aelbrecht - Member (JazzLab - Belgium), Enrico Bettinello - Member (NovaraJazz, Italy), Sunna Gunnlaugsdóttir - Member (Solfinna - Kopavogur, Iceland), Minnakaisa Kuivalainen - Member (Tampere Jazz Happening, Finland), Martyna Markowska - Member (Katowice JazzArt Festival, Poland)

Each year since 2018 EJN, the Europe-wide association of promoters, presenters and organisations who specialise in creative music, contemporary jazz and improvised music, awards a European organisation tackling with success the issue of social inclusion in its communities. Previous recipients of the Award have been Rustica X Band of Pasquale Innarella from Italy (2019) and Banlieues Bleues from France for their “actions musicales” (2018).

The EJN Award for Music and Community is one of the three Awards that EJN bestows each year. The other two are the “EJN Award for Adventurous Programming”, that started in 2012, and the “Zenith Award for Emerging Artists”, started by EJN in 2019 in collaboration with 12 Points Festival.

About JazzDanmark
JazzDanmark is the national organisation for jazz in Denmark and Danish jazz abroad. JazzDanmark supports and promotes the growth and value of Danish jazz, both within Denmark and abroad through the creation and development of new collaborations, partnerships, projects and experiences and by encouraging participation and awareness.

The JazzDanmark team has worked nationally and internationally for over a decade with projects in a wide range of areas. The popular showcase programme in Germany called Danish Vibes, a Danish jazz festival in London called Sounds of Denmark, a cross-nordic talent program called Nordic Jazz Comets is just a few of the organisation’s famous international brands. In recent years the organisation has furthermore hosted several conceptual events and touring projects throughout Asia like Opposite Denmark Japan and DMC – Danish Music in China in order to respond to the demand for Danish jazz in the Asian region.

Since 2014 JazzDanmark have been determined to change the gender balance in jazz through several diversity projects. The countrywide JazzCamp for Girls-project is an acclaimed attempt to do this hosting 15-20 camps simultaneously across Denmark each year. An EU-funded touring project Kids Can working in collaboration with Jazzkaar (EE) and Hot Club (P) has proved new ways of working with diversity in music as well as audience development. Recently the diversity question within improvised music was challenged again with the project Improv for Refugee Children hosting camps across refugee centres in Denmark and developing educational material for diverse children groups without any use of spoken language.

JazzDanmark has been running the oldest international summer camp in Northern Europe for professional musicians for over 40 years called Summer Session, and have recently released a youth version of this named Jazzdalen (The Jazz Valley) with a declared 50/50 gender balance.

The Covid-19 crisis has prompted JazzDanmark to redirect projects into new formats, and released a widespread concert-concept called Backyard Jazz on March 20th 2020. Small concerts in backyards with audience watching from windows and balconies has entertained more than 250.000 audiences live and via stream across the world during the lock-down. In November JazzDanmark will host the Danish Music Awards Jazz, an annual event broadcasted live on TV and radio, showcasing the high quality of music in the country.

JazzDanmark’s website: https://jazzdanmark.dk/ 

Photo ©JazzDanmark: saxophone-playing girls at JazzCamp for Girls