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There were many reasons for starting the Aarhus Jazz Festival in 1989. The organisers – Musikhuset Aarhus and other local venues – wanted to establish an event with international stars and new talents in jazz. Furthermore Aarhus was stagnant and quiet in the summer – a time with a potentially great jazz audience of both locals and tourists.

Today Aarhus is full of activity in the summer and the Jazz Festival’s original ambition of presenting international stars as well as new talent and currents in quality jazz remains. This strategy makes the programme of Aarhus Jazz Festival unpredictable and also familiar to the audience. The strategy also helped the Festival achieve its international renown – not only as an subsection of Copenhagen Jazz Festival, but in its own right.

Like all good festivals the Aarhus Jazz Festival is continually evolving. The whole city is backing the eight days of jazz, more and more venues are added and this year’s festival will be one of the biggest up till now.


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