The Red Light Jazz Festival was held on September 3, 4, and 5 in the Walle (or Red Light Zone) in Amsterdam in 2021. Despite Covid-19, several bars, cafes, sex theaters and even churches opened their doors to live jazz music performances.
On the 4th of September, I attended a concert by Wouter Kiers, a renowned saxophonist, and his band, in the Paleis van de Weemoed, a cafe located in a 17th-century canal house that has been designated as a UNESCO monument. For part of this performance, Wouter played together with Natsumi Scarlett, Amsterdam's most famous, award-winning burlesque performer.
During the performance, Wouter started by warming up the crowd with jazz covers of many classic pop tunes, including a medley of Beatles songs which had the audience singing along with the band. He then played a sexy dance number and Natsumi came to the stage. For about five minutes, she pranced, danced, and struck a great number of funny faces and poses as she slowly removed one item of clothing after another. True to the spirit of burlesque, her performance was bawdy, funny, and was filled with irreverent behavior. The interplay between Natsumi, the audience and the band was a joy to behold.
This series presents the highlights of those few minutes in the Paleis van de Weemoed---what a wonderful, silly and fun few moments those were. If you'd like to see the full series, download the PDF catalogue here.