Jazz We Can! The Story of CBS Jazz
With CBS Jazz, the Copenhagen Business School has a unique organization besides the “normal” student associations focused mainly on business. Founder Paul Chiasson describes the main idea of the organization like this: “We want to support the cultural diversity at the CBS.” On the past Wednesday, CBS Jazz had their first event at Café Nexus this term.
Jazz @ Café Nexus
The lights at Café Nexus are dimmed, the tables are covered with black, velvet tablecloth. In the rear corner, where people sit and talk normally, a band is playing. They are playing songs from the so called ‘Cool Jazz Era.’ The songs are by great artists such as Charlie “The Bird” Parker and Chet Baker. The Band is the Simon Linnert Trio. They are from Copenhagen, frequent entertainers of the jazz clubs of the capital of Denmark. Their music is soft and airy. Especially guitarist Per Møllerhøj and e-pianist Simon Linnert, performing their solos with a great accentuation and precision, never loosing the main theme and melody of their songs. The atmosphere at Nexus this evening is relaxed. The 60 some people who have come out to the first event of CBS Jazz this term are sitting at the small tables, drinking and talking while the band plays in the background.
Networking and Listening to Jazz
“That is exactly the atmosphere, we had in mind when we founded this organization.” says Paul Chiasson. Together with Kenneth Peterson he founded CBS Jazz in September 2011, since this time, they organized three concerts at Nexus. “We wanted to give students a nice platform to network, while they can listen to Jazz.” Why Jazz? You might ask. As Paul explains it, “We wanted to distinguish the organization from the parties, which take place every Thursday night at Nexus. They are playing mostly electro and hip hop, so, we thought Jazz would be a nice alternative. Furthermore, we both like jazz.”
The last three concerts have been a big success for the young organization. At the first event, exactly a year ago, Nexus was completely crowded. For their second concert, CBS Jazz received financial support from the famous Ben Webster foundation. “The bands, which play here are always very happy with the audience. Normally they play in Jazz houses where the audience is much older. Here they have young people who come to listen to them” explains Paul. To quote one of the former artists who performed at Nexus: “Here we have the feeling that Jazz is young.”
Sponsorship for Further Events
This time, just around 60 people came to the concert of the Simon Linnert trio. One possible reason: The entrance fee of 50 DKK. “Maybe many students think this is a lot of money just for Nexus, which is normally free of any entrance fee” says Paul. But people should be aware of this: if they attending a normal Jazz club the entrance could be free, but the prices for drinks or food are much higher than at Nexus. Furthermore, it would be very hard to find a concert somewhere in Copenhagen where professional musicians perform for an entrance fee lower than 70 DKK anyways.
But the founder of CBS Jazz is aware of this problem. “We try to inform students about the fact that our entrance fee isn’t that high, but we also want to establish different sponsors to lower our costs and by doing this, the prices for our guests.” Hence, the next event of CBS Jazz will be in cooperation with CBS Students on the 21st of November – with no entrance fee.
For the future, the vision of CBS Jazz is to establish their own house band. The organization is getting many requests by other organizations asking for musicians to play at events. “If we had our own band we could provide the CBS-events with music and could have more jazz evenings” shares Paul.
After two hours, the performance of Simon Linnert at the Piano, Morten Christian Haxtholm at the bass, Per Møllerhøj at the guitar and drummer Rasmus Schmidt is over. “It was a pretty cool gig here” states the head of the band, Simon Linnert at the end of the concert. Hopefully there will be more events at Café Nexus to come.
Note: CBS Jazz is searching for volunteers for their events. Are you interested? Mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information check out their Facebook page here to check for upcoming events and follow the organization’s news.