Swinging Europe's History
It all started during a train ride to Copenhagen Airport.
Birgit Vinge looked at Erik Moseholm and said: ‘Let’s create something!’
The conversation soon blossomed and before they reached the airport, it was settled: Birgit Vinge would raise the money if Erik Moseholm would bring the project ideas.
The plan was to gather young musicians from all over Europe and give them an artistic place in an exclusive big band.
The first year was 1996 and the project was named BIMWO – Brande International Music Workshop. The success of the project sparked a sense of motivation and most of the following year Birgit Vinge was found traversing the hallways in Brussels, where she was trying to raise further funding from the EU.
From 1998 European Jazz Orchestra became a reality and in 2005, the worldwide network, European Broadcasting Union (EBU) became involved in the project, where they were responsible for choosing the best musicians to play in European Jazz Orchestra. European Jazz Orchestra has been DSI Swinging Europe’s most prestigious project to date up until its end in 2013. Three years later PLAY!GROUND LIVE was added to the portfolio and the list of projects still grows today.
Pulling up the Stakes
In 2011, Swinging Europe pulled up the stakes and moved from Brande to a new office in Herning. Along with the new surroundings came Per Bech Jensen, who took charge of the organisation as Executive Director, a position, which he resigned at the end of 2014.
New Times Call for New Initiatives
Swinging Europe is currently in a transitional phase and after many years of working specifically with jazz music on a European level implementing the project European Jazz Orchestra, the self-governing institution is now looking to expand our international position and area of expertise. Our organisation is moving in a different direction – away from jazz music and towards more interdisciplinary cultural projects.
Swinging Europe arose out of a distinct love of jazz and music in general and one of our main objectives still is to develop musical talent, but today we move across all musical genres in an attempt to break with the traditional genre definitions.