Copenhagen Revisited

Linda and Jason Peterson in Copenhagen
Linda and Jason Peterson in Copenhagen

I am a pianist/vocalist/songwriter, with the heart of a gypsy, who has traveled many places to play my music. A recent trip to “Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen” Denmark reminded me, with great clarity, of the young woman I was when I first experienced this fabulous city in 1984. I was a single mom and had been offered a job at the Sheraton Copenhagen to play piano in their lounge for three months. At the time, my kids were young and I, being the adventurer I am, decided to just “go for it.”

My daughter was only 6, so she didn’t have much say in the matter, but my son was 15 and went with me, kicking and screaming. I remember vividly these words I said to him, “Some day you’ll thank me for this experience!” He wasn’t buying it, but came anyway, and indeed it was a wonderful experience for all.

The kids went to international school for three months, and I can still see them so clearly, walking hand-in-hand to catch the train at Osterport Station to go off to school. It was such a great education for all of us, and together we discovered the fairyland that is Denmark, from the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen Harbor, to the Hans Christian Andersen House on the island of Fun, to the wonders of the wild and untamed shores of Skagen, where the Baltic and North Seas meet.

I have traveled to Copenhagen and other wonderful cities in Denmark, both to work and to visit friends, over the past 25 years, but my recent trip back to Copenhagen was the most special of them all. I went to see this son of mine perform, (the once-protesting 15 year old), in concert with Michael Bolton as his saxophone player on a Copenhagen stage. I had the privilege of inviting my wonderful Danish friends to the concert and had the honor of being the proud mom of this now-grown man who was following in the footsteps of his musical family. It was a thrilling experience for me. Michael Bolton even had my son speak a few words of Danish, learned in international school all those years ago, to the enthralled public. They loved it!

After the concert, my son and I took that same train from Osterport Station down to the Nyhavn Harbor. We walked as far as we could out on the pier and sat on a bench reminiscing about the years gone by.

He said to me, “Mom, coming to Denmark when I was a kid was the most wonderful experience for me and I thank you for it.”

I realized sitting on that bench with my son that not much had changed within my own heart, soul and psyche. I’m still the same adventurous woman I was then and still ready for a challenge and an adventure. Traveling and experiencing new places and things, and also going back to revisit special places from your past, is an invigorating and satisfying experience at any age – and, in fact, it can make you feel like a kid again, full of the promise and expectation of great new possibilities.

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Linda Peterson
Linda Peterson is matriarch of The Peterson Family, Twin Cities First Family of Jazz. Visit Contact Linda at [email protected].


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