Leap (Kaja)

Girls in Airports x Aarhus Jazz Orchestra

Released May 28, 2021

New York City Record Best Large Ensemble Releases of 2021





The band Girls in Airports is based in Copenhagen and is one of the few young, Danish indie jazz bands that have established themselves internationally. In Germany, they are represented by the country’s leading jazz booking agency, Karsten Jahnke, and play at fully packed concert halls wherever they go. Their music has previously been released on the British label Edition Records, including the album ‘Live’ from 2017. The band has toured in countries such as the US, China, Brazil, and most of Europe.

The band consists of Martin Stender on saxophone, Mathias Holm on keyboards, Victor Dybbroe on percussion and Anders Vestergaard on drums.

Girls in Airports has been described as ‘a unique blend of Nordic jazz lyricism, indie-rock influences and sounds from around the world’. The Danish band is famous for their captivating soundscapes crossing musical genres and geographical borders. Combining jazz, indie and urban folk into a unique expression of heart stirring, melody-laden elegiac hooks and dance-friendly, globally-influenced rhythms. Featuring four of the most distinctive and creative musicians from the Danish music scene, Girls in Airports is one of the most vital experimental ensembles in Europe. With a coherent and unique sound, their music is both absorbing and powerfully emotive. The band’s charismatic live performances have quickly made them one of the most talked about new bands on the international scene.

Track Listing:

1. Myanmar 6:23
2. Dovetail 6:40
3. Violet 2:29
4. Weaver 5:19
5. Outside Looking In 6:00
6. Vejviser 6:23
7. See Trail 5:43
8. Anima 7:58
9. Memory Wagon 7:56


Martin Stender: saxophones
Mathias Holm: keys
Victor Dybbroe: percussion
Anders Vestergaard: drums
Nils Gröndahl: violin
Aarhus Jazz Orchestra

Recored January 2021, at Lundgaard Studio
All music and arrangements by Girls in Airports
Recorded and produced by John Fomsgaard
Mixed by August Wanngren
Mastered by Noel Summerville
Cover photo by Nicholé Velasquez


From the start, Girls in Airports has been a musical collective, where the whole band is an instrument. Each individual musician has contributed and is an indispensable part of the overall band and expression. Just as a saxophone once in a while has to go to the workshop and be tightened, so this can also be done with a band.

In this case, Girls in Airports has been pimped up with a big band – the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra and goes in a surprising direction – while keeping true to the spirit of Girls in Airports.

They play both new and old GIA tracks. The album opens with a true classic. Myanmar from the 2010 debut album. It has turned into another and more calm number, which tells that Girls in Airports have grown older and don’t have the same need to be so pushy and forward. They rest more within themselves – have peace and are challenged in a different way today.

Even before Myanmar is over, the joy of hearing Girls in Airports together with the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra bubbles over. They meet each other in the most beautiful way. On the following, special guest Nils Gröndahl appears for the first time. The violinist who is known from Under the City adds new original dimensions to the GIA universe.

The keyboard player Mathias Holm occupies a central role during the hour that the music lasts. His at once industrial and organic sound stands strong on tracks like the new Violet and the subsequent Weaver from their 2020 album Dive. Anders Vestergaard and Victor Dybbroe from Girls in Airports’ drum and percussion section provide both tight and rattle parts to the musical whole.

Along the way, bandleader and saxophonist Martin Stender plays, among other things. together with his old teacher Michael Bladt, who has been a regular in the big band for many years. The album ends with the dramatic and new composition Memory Wagon. A worthy finale to an album that will stand strong in both Girls in Airports’ and Aarhus Jazz Orchestra’s musical histories.

Niels Overgård (Jazznyt.blogspot.com)