28th-29th June 2016 – thoughts on…. Ascona Jazz Festival, Switzerland

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It was my first time to visit Ascona Jazz Festival. To be honest the warnings I had received about speed traps, cameras etc., left me arriving a little tired and wary. A magical, though expensive location, where 1 CH Franc is presumed to be equal to 1 Euro, we heard Classic Jazz in the distance as we approached. Five stages of varying sizes. Not a lot of people about on the Tuesday evening despite it being a Swiss holiday.

One highlight from my very brief stay were the New Orleans Jazz Vipers – who make a calculated and valid decision not to use a drummer. Their playing was relaxed yet potent and FULL of swing. When they needed to bring things up a notch they did so with no difficulty. Marvelous rhythm section. Many of the members sing which is really positive and gives the repertoire diversity and color.

I was delighted too that the first steps of Lindy Hop were being taught in Ascona with Francesca De Vita and Henrik Persson reaching out to bring the dance to everyone.

My thanks for the invitation to sing from Roman Swing Ambassador Giorgio Cuscito and the band GOTHA SWING.

I will certainly be back but will be sure to use an ATM the next time to avoid “misunderstandings” about exchange rates. 😉

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