Danish saxophonist and composer Benjamin Koppel (b. 1974) is one of the most award-winning musicians of his generation, known for his versatility and virtuosity. Read more about the award-winning Danish jazz saxophonist.
In spite of his young age, he’s considered one of Denmarks most talented and sought after saxophonists, both at home and abroad. “Music is a form of communication, and to me it is very important to play both for and with the audience,” says Koppel.
Koppel’s musical background is deeply rooted in his family. He is the grandson of the famous Danish classic composer Herman D. Koppel, and son of musician and composer Anders Koppel, who had great success worldwide with the band Savage Rose. So, the music genre of the family spreads out from classical to jazz and pop and Benjamin Koppel masters all the genres with the outmost perfection.
Koppel formed his first band when he was 15 years old and has released nearly 40 CDs as a soloist, composed over 200 pieces of music and appeared on more than 100 CD productions. He has been a visiting professor at universities in the United States and China, and since 2009, he and his company Cowbell Music has been organizing the Valby Summer Jazz (now Summer jazz), a part of the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. This festival takes place just outside the center of Copenhagen in the small suburb of Valby.
Whether you are a complete jazz beginner or a more experienced listener, Summer Jazz has something for everyone.
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World-class pianist and composer Kenny Werner has also played a major role in the creation of the festival. Every year he and Koppel have worked together on assembling different talented musicians in interesting and new formations. This year is no exception, with great domestic and international names like Benny Werner, Randy Brecker, Benjamin Koppel, Miroslav Vitous, Julian Lage, Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band, Marie Carmen Koppel, Johnathan Blake, Scott Colley, DJ Noize, Shaka Loveless, Pede B, Karen Mukupa, Al Agami and Ataf Khawaja. The festivals runs from 6th through 15th July.
Award-Winning Danish Jazz Saxophonist
“I am lucky enough to have played with a wide range of fantastic musicians from all over the world,” says Koppel. “This festival has given me the opportunity to invite some of them to Denmark to play. In collaboration with Kenny, I have assembled special orchestras with musicians who have never played together before. This gives the audience an experience they cannot find anywhere else. It’s very much a once-in-a-life-time experience,” he explains.
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The variety of Koppel’s musical collaborations is wide, and has established him as a sought-after musician internationally. As a soloist and bandleader, he has performed/recorded with Phil Woods, Kenny Werner, Jim Hall, Joe Lovano, Scott Colley, Daniel Humair, Palle Danielsson, Alex Riel, Miroslav Vitous, Anders Koppel, Inger Dam Jensen, Michala Petri, Adam Nussbaum, Randy Brecker, Chano Dominguez, Charlie Mariano, Portinho, David Sanchez, Sheryl Crow, and others.
Unique musical experiences
Today, his company Cowbell Music has developed into a music and event bureau producing concert and unique musical experiences in cooperation with different Danish and international enterprises and cultural institutions. As a musician, Koppel appears both with international jazz stars, Danish pop acts and symphony orchestras in Europe, USA and China.
Koppel has published the book “Out of Music” (Gyldendal).
Award-Winning Danish Jazz Saxophonist, written by Tor Kjolberg