Bye Bye JazzAscona 34: a lucky edition, good vibes and 10% more visitors

Bryan Carter

The 34th edition of JazzAscona came to an end on Saturday June 30, in a throng of visitors. Blessed with 10 days of good weather, the festival enjoyed a pleasant 10% growth in festival attendance, also thanks to an extremely varied program.

The 34th edition of JazzAscona is history. After ten intense days of music, on Saturday night the piazza filled with the last jazz of this year’s festival – in an exciting goodbye party that even included an unexpected firework show, organized for a wedding in one of Ascona’s five-star hotels. A real success. It is with great satisfaction that the president of JazzAscona, Guido Casparis looks back at the past edition:  “After an extremely wet edition last year (six rainy days), this year’s weather was perfect and helped us contrast the predicable and predicted competition of the World Cup games, which was most significant when the Swiss team played. We saw a strong visitors flow especially midweek, on the evenings with free entry, to the benefit of the local operators and the overall festival atmosphere, which remained vital and sparkling throughout“. The final balance? Both positive and remarkable. At least 45,000 visitors enjoyed 180 concerts during 10 days on the piazza and in local restaurants, with a growth in festival attendance of about 10%.

Once again, the festival‘s program was a real surprise! With the aim of attracting new age groups without disappointing the festival‘s old aficionados, loyal to the tradition of jazz, this year more than in the past, visitors enjoyed a broadened style range. As noted by artistic director Nicolas Gilliet, the festival offered a lot of r&b and funk, with groups such as Jt & the Ka-Nection and their Bourbon Street Sound, but also the blazing soul-funk-rock of Roosevelt Collier, Italian singer-songwriter music by Paolo Jannacci or the bossa nova of the excellent Brazilian guitarist and singer Luiz Meira. “We are experimenting in search of a new balance that doesn’t lose touch with the festival’s roots, that remain in jazz and New Orleans music. Generally – continues Gilliet – the audience appreciated our choices and the atmosphere was definitely very positive“.
Visitors admired renowned artist such as Franco Ambrosetti and Philipp Fankhauser but also discovered new faces and future talents such as Marina &The Kats, New Orleans singer Quiana Lynell,  Bryan Carter & The Young Swangers, the Swedish singer Ellen Birath (excellent even though she was rarely seen on the main stages) Frank Salis & Michael Watson or trumpeter Ashlin Parker, the real protagonist of this edition of the festival.

The exhibition “Paul Bacon e il graphic design delle copertine jazz della Riverside Records” organized at Casa Serodine by the local Museum of contemporary art in Ascona, was also a great success. The exhibition will remain open until the end of July.

All in all, we enjoyed a more than positive edition, which allows us to look ahead with renewed confidence, to the future of the festival and of the newly founded. And as we look ahead, JazzAscona 35 will take place from June 20 to June 29, 2019.