The Big Chris Barber Band in Denmark, January 2005
In January of 2005, the Big Chris Barber Band played a series of concerts in Denmark with Sjællands Symfoniorkester. This was a rare opportunity to hear once again a live performance of the Symphony Of Jazz: music for jazz band and symphony orchestra written by Chris and Richard Hill (recorded some years ago for the Timeless Records CDs, New Orleans Symphony and In His Element).

Because of the rare nature of the Danish concert series, archive team members Andreas Wandfluh and Julian Purser travelled from Switzerland and England respectively to hear several performances and to visit with the band. Here is an e-mail message that Andreas sent to me shortly after he arrived home. -- Ed Jackson

I have just arrived home from Copenhagen where I met the band, Julian (Purser), and Soren Vind, the promoter of the band in Denmark and the author of a book about the living legend, Chris Barber. This book, unfortunately, is actually only available in the Danish language. Soren is thinking about publishing it in English and in German.

I arrived on Friday, 7th January in Copenhagen, where Richard Oliver and Julian picked me up at the airport. After checking in at the hotel, we moved to Copenhagen Center, first having a fantastic meal at an Italian restaurant close to the concert hall. Barry, Julian and I enjoyed the meal very much. The concert with the symphony orchestra was great. I took a few pictures of that evening: you will get them on a separate CD. Norman Emberson joined the band, playing the bass drum!!

On Saturday, Julian went with Mike Henry, Richard, and Barry Walker to Jerslev, installing all the mikes and sound system for the symphony orchestra and the band. In the meantime, Soren showed me the City of Copenhagen. He was a very nice guide and we had a fantastic lunch in a typical Danish restaurant. We arrived at the hotel in Ishoj at about 1600h and intended to leave for Jerslev roughly about 5 o'clock.

One minute before leaving the hotel, we got a phone call from Julian telling us that due to a heavy storm the police force had cancelled all public activities in the whole country. That meant that the second concert with the symphony orchestra had also been cancelled!!! There was a heavy storm over England, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Julian, Barry, Richard and Mike had to disconnect all the mikes and the sound system and to pack it all into the two vans and then return to Copenhagen, leaving more than 400 sandwiches in Jerslev....

On Sunday, January 9th, we had more luck. For an "ordinary" concert we all drove to Vejle, about 230 km away from our hotel. The band gave a Sunday afternoon concert (the regular programme without the symphony orchestra) and we were all back in Ishoj/Copenhagen by 2100h. A party in room 917 (called the 917 Club) finished the evening. (917 was Richard Oliver’s room number and we had a fun evening with different band members, having good drinks, etc.)

I took a lot of pictures during the sound check in Vejle. This sound check was absolutely great: a real jam session, with Chris and Bob joining in. Unfortunately it was not recorded but it proved how well they can play jazz.

On Monday, January 10th, Julian and I left Denmark in order to return home. Vic Pitt and Richard Oliver drove us to the airport, where we left Denmark shortly after noon. Julian and I appreciated very much the hospitality of the band and - of course - of Soren Vind, the jazz promoter in Denmark.

Well, that's in brief what happened in Denmark.


(There is a collection of photographs from the short tour in Denmark on Photographs, page 6.)

Back to the Tours, Concerts and Special Events page or Photographs, page 6.