Named after the notorious New Orleans district where jazz was born, the label was launched in Copenhagen in 1952 by jazz fanatic Karl Emil Knudsen. Storyville originally sold imported American records but when the burgeoning post war jazz scene attracted the American jazz artists to tour in Europe and Scandinavia Knudsen seized every opportunity to record his jazz heroes for the label.
By late 2003 when Karl Emil Knudsen, the self-styled “Doctor of Jazz Archaeology”, passed away, his Storyville label was considered by the jazz cognoscenti to be the Scandinavian equivalent to America’s Blue Note Records. The Storyville archive includes recordings by Louis Armstrong, Ben Webster, Duke Ellington, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis and Benny Carter, to name but a few. Storyville Records was also instrumental in launching the career of some of the most influential Danish jazz artists including Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Fessor’s Big City Band, and the legendary Papa Bues Viking Jazz Band.
In 2005 Editions Wilhelm Hansen, a Danish company with over 150 years in music publishing and part of the Music Sales Group acquired Storyville from Knudsen’s family. Anders Stefansen and Mona Granager, both long standing associates who worked with Knudsen to build the label, have stayed on with Storyville and will preserve the label’s unique identity.
As part of the Music Sales family of companies Storyville Records is ideally placed to bring its wealth of classic recordings to new generations of jazz fans through album re-releases, special collectors’ editions of rare jazz recordings and digital downloads. We are sure that Karl Emil would be delighted to know that his label lives on within a fiercely independent music company that shares the same passion for great music.
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