top of page


Herluf Kamp Larsen 1.jpg

Photo: Torben Christensen

Jazzhus Montmartre
put Copenhagen on the world
jazz map in 195

Welcome to Jazzhus Montmartre, Copenhagen’s legendary jazz club, located in the same premises where musicians such as Ben Webster, Stan Getz and Dexter Gordon hung out in the 1960s.


Ever since it first opened on Store Regnegade in Copenhagen in 1959, Jazzhus Montmartre has been Copenhagen’s leading jazz hotspot with world-class live music. After a period on Nørregade from 1976 to 1995, Montmartre reopened at its original address in May 2010, this time as a non-profit venue. 


We continue to present jazz concerts of the highest caliber and featuring master musicians, while preserving the authentic and intimate historic atmosphere.

Opened in 1959

Jazz enthusiast Anders Dyrup opened Jazzhus Montmartre back in 1959.  George Lewis was on the bill for the first two weeks. Stan Getz, who lived in Copenhagen from 1958 to 1961 with his Swedish wife, played at the club on a regular basis.


Before long, a host of American jazz giants flocked to Copenhagen. They were attracted to Copenhagen for its inclusive reception of Blacks which was better than what they experienced in the USA. Dexter Gorden, who moved to Copenhagen in 1962, and Ben Webster, who settled in Copenhagen in 1964, were among the American musicians who quickly felt at home in Copenhagen.


Photo: Torben Christensen

Herluf Kamp Larsen 2.jpg

Photo: Torben Christensen

The years under Herluf Kamp-Larsen’s leadership

New management was introduced at the start of 1961. Herluf Kamp-Larsen started a veritable revolution in Danish jazz history and made Jazzhus Montmartre a high temple of jazz in the capital city and even in Europe. In the years that followed, and up to 1976, the club was one of the leading European venues for jazz greats. In addition to outstanding musicians such as Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster and Stan Getz, the club attracted other international jazz names. Many musicians moved to Copenhagen due to the magical atmosphere of the club and the high spirits of the many jazz musicians and their fans. 


While living in Copenhagen, the musicians inspired a entire generation of Danish jazz masters, including the famous bassists Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Mads Vinding, Jesper Lundgaard and Bo Stief, drummer Alex Riel, trumpetist Palle Mikkelborg and the many others.


The many jazz legends who have played at Montmartre include Roland Kirk, Oscar Pettiford, Joe Harris, Buddy Tate, Coleman Hawkins, Don Byas, Bud Powell, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Cecil Taylor, Brew Moore, Harold Goldberg, Lucky Thompson, Archie Shepp, Johnny Griffin, Art Taylor, Booker Ervin, Albert Ayler, Dollar Brand (Abdullah Ibrahim), Don Cherry, Rune Gustafsson, Albert "Tootie" Heath, Eli Thompson, Sonny Rollins, Yusef Lateef, George Russell, Teddy Wilson, Paul Bley, Bill Evans, Eddie Gómez, Richard Boone, Herbie Hancock, Eddie Henderson, Billy Hart, Keith Jarrett, Miroslav Vitous, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Lee Konitz, Louis Jordan, Charles Mingus, Ken McIntyre, Nat Adderley, Donald Byrd, Tony Williams, Lou Bennett, Phil Woods, Charles McPherson and Dizzy Gillespie.

Montmartre on Nørregade

In 1976 Montmartre moved to Nørregade 41 under new management. Kay Sørensen (1938-1988) was the owner and Niels Christensen served as music director and was assisted by Lars Thorborg.


These three established Montmartre as one of the most noteworthy jazz scenes in Europe, where stars such as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Oscar Peterson, Nancy Wilson, Betty Carter, Elvin Jones, Art Blakey, The Brecker Brothers and many others played. In addition, Montmartre presented world music names including Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Tania Maria, Youssou N'Dour, and King Sunny Adé, as well as funk and soul artists like James Brown, Tower of Power, and Gil Scott-Heron.


On weekends, the jazz space transformed into the very popular “Natdisk” (Night Disco) that attracted a public of dance-loving Danes. This served as the financial foundation of the club’s strong jazz profile. Montmartre became a popular music hotspot in the Copenhagen nightlife regardless of musical genre.


In 1989 Kay Sørensen (known as Jazz-Kay among friends) died and Montmartre was sold to hotel owner Eli Pries, who found it difficult to maintain the club’s traditional mix of art and commercial success. In 1992 the musician Anne Linnet took over the club and changed the lineup genre to mainly pop and rock performances, but without success. The club closed in 1995.  

Monten 227.jpg

Photo: Torben Christensen

Monten 173.jpg

Photo: Torben Christensen

Reopening on Store Regnegade
WITH Rune Bech og Niels Lan Doky

Jazzhus Montmartre reopened in May 2010 at its original address on Store Regnegade, this time as a non-profit music venue on the initiative of journalist and entrepreneur Rune Bech and with Niels Lan Doky as music director. Herluf Kamp-Larsen, the owner of the original venue, was present on opening night.


From day one the club had a first class international jazz profile and its reopening created a sensation around the world. The revived Jazzhus Montmartre was back on the jazz map and became a top attraction in Copenhagen. The New York Times added Jazzhus Montmartre to its list of must-see places in Copenhagen under the headline “Rebirth of Cool”. 


Reestablishing the club was a labor of love that stems from a passion for jazz and the history of Jazzhus Montmartre. The co-creator of Montmartre, Rune Beck, served as the club’s CEO without pay from 2010 until 2020, when Jonas Dyrved took over as director. 


Rune Bech donated the foundational funds to reopen Jazzhus Montmartre. For the first time in its history, Montmartre was established as a non-profit music venue. At present Jazzhus Montmartre is run as a commercial enterprise by the chairperson of the board, Michael Christiansen, who was formerly the CEO of the Royal Danish Theatre and formerly the chair of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR).

Music directors

Jazz pianist Niels Lan Doky served as music director for the first eight months after the reopening. He went on to open The Standard Jazz Club on Havnegade, which has since closed. The Danish saxophonist Benjamin Koppel took over as music director in February 2011 for almost two years. After that Christian Brorsen, record label CEO, stepped in.


In 2016 the Swedish jazz pianist Jan Lundgren was hired as artistic director and has been with Jazzhus Montmartre ever since. Jan Lundgren is a renowned and prolific jazz pianist; in addition to maintaining the artistic profile at Montmartre, he performs at some of the biggest concert halls around the world. 

Monten 222.jpg

Photo: Torben Christensen

Montmartre 6.jpg

Photo: Jane Doe

Decoration of Montmartre

The plaster masks that decorated the wall of Jazzhus Montmartre in the 1960s are iconic. Created in 1959 by artist Mogens Gylling, they attracted international attention as unique works of arts. When the club closed in 1976, the masks disappeared. Founder of the reopened Montmartre persuaded Gylling, who still resides near Copenhagen, to recreate his famous work—with a twist. During the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in 2010, the ten new masks were hung on the wall by the artist and this received a great deal of media coverage. 

In March 2012 Jazzhus Montmartre presented a 102 square meter artwork titled "Interferens" on the ceiling of the club, by the Danish artist Asmund Havsteen Mikkelsen and with financial support from Realdania for the beautification of the club. Unfortunately, the ceiling later had to be taken down in order to renovate the acoustics. 


In 2022 Montmartre was ordered by the city of Copenhagen to close for a temporary period, due to sound level readings that indicated that the volume was too high for the residential building in which Montmartre is located. 


A soundproofing plan was drawn up and a number of foundations contributed to the acoustic renovation, including Realdania and The Augustinus Foundation. At the same time the board appointed a new director, Eva Rehling, who had been associated with Montmartre for a number of years, initially as a volunteer in management and later as a member of the board, where she contributed to the development of a new strategy for Jazzhus Montmartre. 


Jazzhus Montmartre remains a non-profit music venue with a dedicated and distinctive focus on the many facets of jazz. The current strategy consists of the increased role of volunteers in the running of the club, including at the entrance, in the cloakroom and behind the bar. There is also greater focus on the promotion of jazz as a genre. Attracting a wider audience is being done through a variety of collaborations in the premises of Montmartre as well as at larger venues in Copenhagen. Collaborations have been established with numerous venues for touring musicians. Jazz awareness is being spread through workshops and concerts as well as through educational institutions for children and young adults. 



It is hoped that by presenting the public with the multifaceted aspects of jazz, Montmartre will continue to contribute to the contemporary evolution of jazz in Denmark. Jazzhus Montmartre is dedicated to the celebration of jazz and to expanding its appeal to music lovers around the world. 


Photo: Torben Christensen

bottom of page