Jazz Five takes the audience to modern day New Orleans and delivers a unique show with funky second line grooves, blues, shuffle and jazz`n`roll.
Jazz Five was formed in 1996 and since have played over 1000 concerts from British Columbia, to Bornholm and all the way to South Korea in 2013. Whether we are talking festivals, jazz clubs or other arrangements, Jazz Five always projects overwhelming charisma. The band is a non-stop swinging sweat dripping party machine that invites the listener to Mardi Gras in New Orleans and delivers a world class show. With two saxes in the front, an energetic rhythm section, intoxicating blues piano and a singing drummer Jazz Five mixes a live music cocktail that will make your head spin. The audience is pulled out of their seats by the pure seduction of the deep southern funky rhythm set on the scene.
Jazz Five has released five albums and are deeply inspired by artists as Jon Cleary, Dr. John, The Meters and Fats Domino. They cover classics like “Hey Pockey Way”, “Something you got”, Little Liza Jane” and “Never can tell” in their own original style projecting groove and humour unique to Jazz Five. The bands own original numbers are born out of the tradition of jazz, blended with a twist of innovative Danish style in this meeting of New Orleans and Denmark in 2020.
An old dream became reality in January 2014, when Jazz Five travelled to New Orleans to record their 5th album which is called “Belleville Street”. This album is a true mixture of the bohemian sound of Mardi Gras music, street brass band, an intimate jazz club and Sunday gospel in church, united with Jazz Five’s style, in cooperation with Michael Watson (voc/trb), Derwin “Big D” Perkins (g) and John Boutte (voc). The album was released June 2014 and received great reviews from Danish critics. Check it out in the shop!
In 2014 Jazz Five received a Danish Music Award Jazz as best "Jazz For Kids" Band 2014 and 2016.
Reviews (translated from Danish)
"The Album Belleville Street is an excelent statement for Jazz Five. They are hard swinging and especially pianoplayer Esben Hillig knows how to reach the audience and make his solos go right into the listeners ears. Bassplayer Jonas Starcke sings with charm and selfconcience and smooth voice that gives Jazz Five the last touch to highlight the great athmosphere. (Jazznyt.blogspot.dk, 2011. About "New Orleans Heat")
"Another significant band of young traditionalists is Jazz Five who even more and obviously aim for the "New Orleans sound", in this case somewhere between rhythm & blues, funk and early rock'n'roll. The singer and bassplayer Jonas Starcke is a credible and authoritative front figure, to that comes the virtuosic boogie pianist Esben Hillig, the steady drummer Stefan Andersen and the two wellplaying and expressive saxophoneplayers Jeppe Zacho (tenorsax) and Johan Bylling Lang (alto and barisax). Generally freshnes and good and direct energy is the thing in this band and that proves that Jazz Five is distinctly a liveband who gets people on the dancefloor which you can easily hear on the included DVD to the album" (Kjeld Frandsen, Berlingske Tidende, 2011. About "New Orleans Heat")
"Boogie inspired songs like "Take my love", "Beates Blues" and "Fat Man" is build on great energy and shows an orchestra who is a unit and presents one of the bands most interresting individuel caracters, Esben Hillig on the piano. The expression is energetic, the interplay works very well and you feel that the band plays the style with respect and power. Therefore it is great that the album also includes a DVD with 5 songs where you feel that music sometimes only really makes sense in the cooporation between the band and the audiance". (Jazzstjerne.dk, 2011. About "New Orleans Heat")
"They have taken some New Orleans blood and injected in the vains and is trying to spread the heat in Denmark. With the two saxophones up front played by Johan Bylling Lang and Jeppe Zacho, a charming leadsinger Jonas Stacke and a ready rhythm section with a wellplaying Esben Hillig, they have the element to a party..." (Jazznyt.blogspot.dk, 2011. About "New Orleans Heat")
Other project by Jazz Five musicians: