Jan Harbeck lives and breathes for his music and to tell a story with his saxophone. Jan was born in Aarhus, Denmark in 1975 and has been playing music most of his life. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in Aalborg as well as New School in New York. Besides his two orchestras Jan Harbeck Quartet and Live Jive Jungle, Jan plays with numerous other orchestras (see the list here). In 2011, Jan was presented with the prestigious Danish award Bent Jædig Prize as well as Walter Klæbel Prize in 2006. Not least, Jan won a Grammy in 2009 for the best album of the year.
In 2015, Jan Harbeck Quartet released the album ‘Variations in Blue’ with Walter Smith III and the world’s leading jazz magazine DownBeat wrote the following:
‘Danish saxist Jan Harbeck has put together a gorgeous set of bluesy standards, tangos and originals. Since the tracks are all unhurried – recorded live with no cuts or overdubs – the whole program slips down like a vintage port. Despite the familiarity of “Don’t Let the Sun…” and “Blues In the Night”, Harbeck’s originals fit the rundown like silk stockings, slowly unfurling.’
– 4 of 5 stars — Michael Jackson, DownBeat Magazine, March 2015.
Danish newspaper ‘Politiken’ furthermore described Jan Harbeck Quartet’s show at Copenhagen Jazz Festival, in a review by music editor Thomas Michelsen: “Harbeck demonstrated, that nobody can put their soul into a jazz ballad like he can”, and previously in the same newspaper, he also wrote: “the tenor saxophone is the essential sound of jazz. The soul of the genre. Once upon a time we had Ben Webster in Copenhagen to put the soul to life again. Today we have Jan Harbeck.”