Red Light jazz is an annual jazz festival in and around Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District. Started in 2014, initiated by local entrepreneurs, Red Light Jazz highlights the rich tradition Amsterdam has as a true jazz capitol.
The festival strives to show the public a more cultural side of the Red Light District by celebrating the strong connection it has had with jazz music since the nineteen-thirties and fourties. It was around this time that jazz found it’s way over from the States, taking root in the old part of Amsterdam in clubs such as the ‘Cotton Club’ and ‘Casablanca’.
The ‘Casablanca’ at the Zeedijk gained a reputation as the ‘ mecca for jazz lovers’ and is where the renowned sax player Kid Dynamite loved to play after coming to Amsterdam from Surinam in 1928.
Kid Dynamite being one of the musicians being honoured by the festival along with the American trumpet player Chet Baker, who sadly lost his life in 1988 by falling out of the window from his hotel room at the Hotel Prins Hendrik.
Performing artists at the first Red Light Jazz Festival in 2014 were; New Cool Collective, Michiel Borstlap, Hans Dulfer, Deborah J. Carter and Zandscape, Saskia Laroo, Alex Rossi Quartet, Pigalle 44, Edu Ninck Blok Trio, Lils MacKintosh & Clous van Mechelen, Miss Bee, Naked Ears and many others.
In 2015 Red Light Jazz presented: The New York Round Midnight Orchestra, Gare Du Nord, Hans Dulfer, Mieke Stemerdink, Fra Fra Sound, Trio John Engels, Verweij & Friends, Ruben Hein, DJ Maestro, Amsterdam Faya Allstars, WhoSHEdo, Trunk, Mushroom Moses and many more jazz artists.
More information: Red Light Jazz Festival 2016