The Danish Radio Big Band extends its contract with Chief conductor Miho Hazama

The collaboration between The Danish Radio Big Band and the Japanese jazz comet Miho Hazama has been extended until 2025. The powerful chemistry between band and leader can be clearly heard on the new album ‘Imaginary Visions’, which has just been issued on Edition Records

  • The collaboration between The Danish Radio Big Band and Miho Hazama has been extended until 2025. (Foto: Agnete Schlichtkrull)
  • Miho Hazama (Foto: Agnete Schlichtkrull)
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On a number of occasions, Miho Hazama has been proclaimed one of the greatest jazz talents worldwide, and last year she achieved a true international breakthrough when she was nominated for an American GRAMMY®.

Today, she is one of those most in demand among jazz artists of the younger generation, touring between jazz scenes and ensembles in Europe, Asia and USA. And so, according to the artistic director Birger Carlsen, it is a tremendous scoop for the Danish Radio Big Band to now be able to extent her contract as Chief conductor for a new three-year period until autumn 2025.

- From the very outset when we began to work with Miho Hazama, we noticed that we were dealing with someone of quite exceptional artistic capacity. But the most important thing was that the chemistry between the band and Miho was fantastic from the word go. For that reason, she was an obvious choice as our new Chief conductor, and with her comet-like career over the past few years it really is a huge scoop for us that we are now able to extend out contract with her to include the 2022-25 period.

Close collaboration

The fact that the collaboration and chemistry between the young Miho Hazama and the seasoned jazz musicians in the Danish Radio Big Band is in a class of its own has long since been noticed by both the Danish press and audiences.

While Danish newspaper Politiken was written about Hazama’s ‘authority and elegance’ and her relation to the bands as ‘a sophisticated interaction’, Information has stated that the Danish Radio Big Band is ‘in safe, dancing hands’ with its Japanese chief band leader.

Nor does Miho Mazama make any secret of the fact that her relation to the Danish Radio Big Band is something special. And now the first album is being released of music that she has specially written to her Danish band – recorded at DR Koncerthuset during the Corona lockdown and full of solo passages that have been tailored to the individual musicians.

- After my first couple of years with the Danish Radio Big Band, I was in no doubt that the first recording my own big-band compositions had to be together with them. The musicians are always open and highly involved when meeting new music, and as I gradually got to know them, I could shape the music to precisely suit their sound and musical expression, Miho Hazama says.

If you would like to experience this close collaboration between the Danish Radio Big Band and Miho Hazama live, there is a release concert for the ‘Imaginary Visions’ album at DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen on 5 November, when Miho will spearhead a whole evening featuring her own compositions written for the band.

Japan tour and international cooperations

In the slightly longer term, not only Danish audiences will greatly benefit from the collaboration between the Danish Radio Big Band and Miho Hazama being extended until 2025.

For during the coming seasons there are plans for several international activities, the artistic director of the band Birger Carlsen states:

‘Our collaboration with Miho Hazama is really something that strengthens the Danish Radio Big Band’s brand on the international jazz scene. During the coming seasons we are planning, among other things, to tour Japan, something which had to be postponed because of the Corona epidemic. Conversely, we are looking forward – thanks to Miho – to being able to attract a number of the most exciting international jazz artists over the coming years – to the delight of the Danish Radio Big Band, audiences, the Danish jazz environment and, in particular, the many people who listen to our concerts on Danish national public radio.’