Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen Day

May 27, 1946 – April 19, 2005

Det var en Lordag Aften

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Bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen was born on May 27, 1946, on the Danish island of Zealand.

By the age of 15, he was already accompanying top musicians, and at 17, he had to decline an invitation to join the Count Basie Orchestra because he was too young.

As a member of Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen, he backed Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Stan Getz, and Bill Evans. He also played in other Danish venues with Bud Powell, Count Basie, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Jackie McLean, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Celebrated Danish jazz bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen formed his first group, “Jazzkvintet 60,” during his early teens in 1960 and had his debut performance at Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen on New Year’s Eve 1961.

Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen was well-known for his jazz arrangements of traditional Danish folk songs and was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize in 1991.

Among his best-known original songs are “Jaywalkin’,” “My Little Anna,” and “The Puzzle.”

Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen performs a Danish folksong accompanied by Kenny Drew in 1973.


Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, bass
Kenny Drew, piano
Hugo Rasmussen, bass
Max Leth, piano


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