JazzAscona 2022, Sister Cities Edition
Ascona celebrates its twinning with New Orleans. Dee Dee Bridgewater and the New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell are expected on the shores of the Lago Maggiore.
2022 is the year of rebirth for JazzAscona. The 38th edition of the festival, which will take place from June 23 to July 2 with free admission to all concerts, revolves around the historic twinning agreement decided last September by the authorities of Ascona and New Orleans.
It would be hard to imagine Ascona today without a jazz festival, or without its precious connection with New Orleans, forged through music since 1985. This connection will now be officially sealed with a municipal partnership agreed upon in the fall, which will lead Ascona and New Orleans to strengthen their collaboration in various fields, from culture to tourism.
The first result of this agreement is the upcoming 38th edition of JazzAscona. A large delegation from New Orleans will attend the «Sister Cities Edition», including the highest political authorities of the metropolis. LaToya Cantrell, the Mayor of New Orleans, will be in Ascona from June 23 to 26. On June 25, she and the Ascona Mayor Luca Pissoglio will sign the official twinning agreement.
In total, about sixty musicians from Louisiana are expected, including the new Queen of Soul Erica Falls, the singer and accordionist Sean Ardoin, considered a heir to the great Cajun tradition, Bo Dollis Jr. & The Wild Magnolias, one of the most significant bands within the Mardi Gras Indians culture, and the acclaimed New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, which will hold a tribute to Aretha Franklin on June 25 and a concert with one of the world’s greatest jazz singers, the iconic Dee Dee Bridgewater, on July 2.
The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra forms the backbone of the festival, as band members play from night to night on various stages in some fifteen Sister Cities Bands, in ever- changing and surprising formations with musicians from Europe, Switzerland and Ticino.
In addition to the indispensable late-night jam sessions, there will also be a number of workshops, open to all, covering various aspects of jazz and New Orleans culture, from second-line dancing to burlesque classes with Trixie Minx, a dancer who has already conquered the hearts of Ascona in the past.
JazzAscona 2022, whose musical program has been put together by Matt Zschokke and his right-hand man in New Orleans, Adonis Rose, will be «different, stylistically more open, but also faithful to its history».
The festival offers more than 350 concerts and activities over 10 days, with a variety of bands whose music ranges from traditional Jazz to Swing, Blues, Soul and Folk.
Among the expected highlights are the performances of Ida Nielsen, queen of funk and former bassist of Prince (July 2), the Canadian bluegrass band The Dead South (June 27) or the homage to Joe Zawinul by keyboardist Scott Kinsey (June 28).
Compared to past editions, JazzAscona will not be limited to the lakeside, but will take over the entire historic center of Ascona, with street music and smaller acoustic and semi-acoustic concerts animating its colorful alleys.
Another major novelty, all concerts of the festival are free.