Erik Wiedemann

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Erik Wiedemann (born May 7, 1930 in Copenhagen ; † March 2, 2001 ) was a Danish jazz scientist and jazz author. He was considered one of the leading jazz authors and “popularizers” of jazz in Denmark, similar to Joachim Ernst Berendt in Germany.


Wiedemann founded the Danish Jazz League in 1956 and published books on jazz as early as the 1950s, especially "Jazz og Jazzfolk" in 1948. His jazz dictionary was also translated into German. In 1962 he also translated the standard work on the history of jazz by Marshall Stearns into Danish. Wiedemann had been a music journalist with "Information" since the 1950s and taught at the Musicological Institute of the University of Copenhagen, of which he was director in the 1980s. In 1982 he received his doctorate there on "Jazz in Denmark in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s". This was the first doctoral thesis on jazz in Denmark, but before that he had already earned the nickname “Doctor Jazz” in the media. As a scientist, in addition to Danish jazz history, he was primarily concerned with Duke Ellington , through whom he began the (not yet completed) project of listing all Ellington compositions in 1984, the number of which Wiedemann estimated at 1500 in 1991. With Arnvid Meyer, Dan Morgenstern and others, he initiated the Danish Jazzpar Prize in 1989 , which was one of the most highly endowed global jazz prizes.

The archive material on Danish jazz he has collected is in the Royal Library in Copenhagen.


  • Erik Wiedemann "Jazz i Danmark - i tyverne, trediverne og fyrrerne", volume 1–3, Gyldendal 1982 (dissertation)
  • Erik Wiedemann, John Jörgensen, Hans-Georg Ehmke "Jazzlexikon", Mosaik Verlag, Munich 1966 (and Bertelsmann 1967), Danish Wiedemann, Sven Møller Kristensen, John Jørgensen "Jazzens hvem hvad hvor", Politikens Verlag Copenhagen, 1953, 2nd edition 1962
  • Wiedemann "Jazz in Denmark 1933-1945", in Knauer "Jazz in Europe", Darmstadt Contributions to Jazz Research Vol. 3, Wolke Verlag 1994
  • ders. "Jazz in Denmark", in Wolbers Ed. "Thats Jazz" 1988
  • ders. " Montmartre 1959–76: Historien om et jazzhus i København", 1997 (as well as in Musik og Forskning Vol. 21, 1996, 274)
  • ders. "Jazz og jazzfolk", Aschehoug Dansk Forlag, Copenhagen 1948, 1960
  • ders. "Jazzen i blodet - udvalgte artikler 1951-2000" (Articles, Ed. Christian Braad Thomsen), Gyldendal 2001
  • ders. "Duke Ellington: The Composer" in: Annual Review of Jazz Studies, Vol. 5, 1991, pp. 37-64 (and Danish in Musik og Forskning Vol. 11, 1986, pp. 77-90).

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