DR Big Band

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Danmark Radio Big Band featuring Palle Mikkelborg and Arve Henriksen (Aarhus 2020)

The Danish Radio Big Band (DR Big Band), often referred to as the Radioens Big Band is a radio ensemble and big band founded in Copenhagen in 1964.

Band history[edit]

Originally called the New Radio Dance Orchestra, in the early years the band was led by Ib Glindemann. But over the next few decades many new faces joined, such as Chris Potter, Thad Jones, Bob Brookmeyer Jim McNeely, and guest soloists like Miles Davis, Stan Getz, and Joe Henderson.

In 1964 the Danish broadcasting corporation Danmarks Radio (later abbreviated to DR) had a monopoly of both radio and TV broadcasting in Denmark. When Niels-Jørgen Kaiser, DR's head of entertainment, decided that DR had to have its own jazz band, it was without regard for economics. He wanted national radio to reflect that jazz was active in Copenhagen clubs. During the first few decades, the New Radio Dance Orchestra, which later became the DR Big Band, acquired a reputation that could attract popular jazz musicians.

With the fall of the radio and TV monopoly in the 1980s, and later when DR moved out to 'DR City' in the 2000s, the struggle for funding for DR's large orchestra became fierce. Chris Minh Doky, the band's artistic director, decided in 2008 to increase its visibility. Since then the DR Big Band has recorded with jazz musicians Randy Brecker, Chris Potter, and Mike Stern, but it has also appeared on the Danish version of the talent show X Factor, on the family series Sigurd & the Big Band, and on the show Circus Summarum.





  • Vincent Nilsson
  • Steen Nikolaj Hansen
  • Annette Huseby Saxe
  • Jakob Munck Mortensen
  • Peter Jensen


  • Nikolaj Schultz
  • Peter Fuglsang
  • Uffe Markussen
  • Lars Møller
  • Anders Gaardmand

Rhythm group:

  • Søren Frost (dr)
  • Kaspar Vadsholt (b)
  • Henrik Gunde (p)
  • Per Gade (g)

Former members[edit]






  • Bjarne Rostvold (?–1978)
  • Lennart Gruvstedt (1978–?)

Chief conductors[edit]


As leader[edit]

  • Brownsville Trolley Line (Sonet, 1970)
  • By Jones, I Think We've Got It (Metronome, 1978)
  • A Good Time Was Had by All with Thad Jones (Metronome, 1979)
  • Crackdown: First U.K. Tour (Hep, 1988)
  • Nordjazz Big 5 (Odin, 1991)
  • Suite for Jazz Band (Hep, 1992)
  • A Little Bit of Duke (Dacapo, 1995)
  • Danish Radio Big Band Plays Thad Jones (Dacapo, 1996)
  • Trollabundin with Eivør Pálsdóttir (Cope/12 Tonar, 2005)
  • Dedication Suite with Jim McNeely (Cape, 2006)
  • Lady Be Good with Etta Cameron (Content/DR/CMC, 2003)
  • The James Bond Classics (EMI/Red Dot, 2008)
  • Jazz Divas of Scandinavia with Caecilie Norby, Silje Nergaard (Red Dot, 2009)
  • Merry Christmas Baby with Sinne Eeg (EMI/Red Dot, 2009)
  • Impressions of a West Side Story (EMI/Red Dot, 2009)
  • The Music of Jacob Gade (EMI/Red Dot, 2009)
  • The Impaler with Jeff "Tain" Watts (Red Dot, 2010)
  • The Phoenix with Vince Mendoza (Red Dot, 2010)
  • Cirkus Summarum (EMI/Red Dot, 2010)
  • Chromazone (Red Dot, 2010)
  • Spirituals (Storyville, 2014)
  • Jazzin' Around Christmas (Storyville, 2016)
  • At the Heart of a Selkie with Peter Jensen (Tutl, 2016)

As guest[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Engelsk stjernetrompetist i DR Big Bandet". DR. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 11 January 2011.

External links[edit]