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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

All That Jazz




If you like a swingin' beat, if you're looking for some crazy tunes, then you gotta get over to Lago Maggiore right now, where there are three major Jazz events taking place. Indoors and out, individual jazz musicians and world-famous groups, it's all happening here.

First, today finds four different groups performing in various venues around Stresa, all as part of the New Orleans in Stresa Festival. This festival, in turn, is part of Jazz Ascona, a large jazz festival that takes place in Ascona, on the Swiss side of Lago Maggiore, this year from June 25 through July 5. These are the bands participating and the locations you'll find them in Stresa today:

Piazza Cadorna, Norbert Susemihi's New Orleans All Stars; 9:30 p.m.
Piazza Marconi; Don Vappie's Jazz Creole; 9:30 p.m.
Piazza Possi; Chicago Stompers; 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.;
Piazza Marconi; Topsy Chapman & Solid Harmony; 7:30 p.m.

Here's a link for the official schedule, with a map and list of alternative locations in the event of bad weather.

As part of this festival the Hurricane Jazz Band will be performing on a special jazz cruise tonight, departing from the Baveno imbarcadero at 7:00 p.m. and cruising around the Borromean Islands.

Thursday Jazz also returns now to Cafe Bar La Verbanella. And not just this week; there will be a different jazz performance each Thursday evening at the cafe from now through September. Verbanella, and the bar inside which is called Willy's Cocktail Bar, are located directly on the Lungolago, Corso Umberto, centrally in the middle of Stresa. These Serate di Jazz, Evenings of Jazz, have been a big success in past years, and some of the most popular performers will be returning this summer as well. Tomorrow evening come and listen to Brass Joy, known for reviving famous jazz music from films.

The Big Daddy of all the summer jazz however, is Jazz Ascona, now celebrating its 25th anniversary. You have to take a look at the schedule to believe it. Every day, June 25 to July 5, from noon until late into the evening, a constant succession of internationally known artists will perform around this Swiss city. Ascona is a little over an hour from Stresa. The drive along the lake is, of course, gorgeous. I'd say this would make for a nice day drive into Switzerland. There are about 20 concerts per day. Many are in restaurants and bars; these are free, but of course the establishment expects you to purchase something. The ten special evening performances do require tickets. Check the website here for detailed information about this world-caliber show. 

As I said, this week, in Stresa and Lago Maggiore, it really is about All That Jazz...


Top photo courtesy of Jazz Ascona.



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