JazzAscona (Ascona Jazz Festival)

JazzAscona (Ascona Jazz Festival)
Photo: jazzascona.ch
The Ascona Jazz Festival, commonly known as simply JazzAscona, is one of the largest jazz festivals in Switzerland. Each summer it brings together jazz musicians and music lovers from all over the world. The festival takes place in the municipality of Ascona located on the picturesque shore of Lake Maggiore.

The precursor to the JazzAscona festival was Festa New Orleans founded and directed by Hannes Anrig. It took place in Lugano from 1975 to 1984. The festival moved to Ascona in 1985 and transformed into a jazz festival that subsequently made Ascona one of the European capitals of traditional jazz.

Unlike many other jazz festivals which feature both traditional and contemporary jazz, the Ascona Jazz Festival focuses on classic jazz, first and foremost the music of New Orleans, known as traditional jazz, hot jazz or Dixieland. Introducing its audience to historical styles of jazz, it showcases a unique and eclectic mix of music genres, from New Orleans jazz to swing, from blues to Afro-Caribbean music.

JazzAscona is held every year in late June and early July and runs for ten days. Each edition of the festival features around 300 artists and almost 15 concerts a day. Alongside concerts, its program features special events such as jam sessions, performances by gospel choirs, exhibitions, conferences, and film screenings.

Since 2013, all concerts at the piazza are free on weekdays. There are four open air stages along the Ascona waterfront that host concerts from 6.30 pm to 1.30 am. Besides, many concerts are held at local bars, restaurants and other small and intimate venues.

In 2006, JazzAscona established the Ascona Jazz Awards. The awards are presented each year to the individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development and promotion of jazz music during the previous year or during their entire career. Past laureates include Pepe Lienhard, Red Holloway, Donald Harrison, Shannon Powell, Herlin Riley, Irma Thomas, Irvin Mayfield, and others.

The program isn’t limited just to music. JazzAscona provides a great experience of Louisiana Creole cuisine which isn’t like anything you have ever tasted. It blends Spanish, French, African and Creole culinary traditions. The Louisiana Food Experience is brought to the attendees by New Orleans's finest chefs.


Photo: jazzascona.ch




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