The Swiss Jazz Award 2024 goes to the Swiss Jazz Orchestra from Bern

Mar,2024 | News, Press Release

“The best Jazz big band in Switzerland” (Pepe Lienhard), “A world-class big band” (Peter Erskine): There are countless positive voices for the Swiss Jazz Orchestra (SJO), a professional ensemble that JazzAscona is welcoming for the first time. The orchestra will be presented with the Swiss Jazz Award 2024 on the evening of June 28. The award, which JazzAscona presents annually to outstanding personalities from the Swiss Jazz scene, will be presented by last year’s winner, Christoph Grab.

Swiss Jazz Orchestra Photo credit: Manuel Zingg

Swiss Jazz Orchestra – Photo credit: Manuel Zingg

The Swiss Jazz Orchestra was founded in 2003 from the big band of the Swiss Jazz School, now the Bern University of the Arts, and is the most active professional big band in Switzerland. The orchestra performs projects in a wide variety of styles, which have been documented on 12 CDs released to date. More than a thousand arrangements and original compositions are the result of the band members’ creativity. A special feature of the orchestra are the weekly concerts it performs every Monday between October and June at the PROGR in Bern. Including all external engagements, the SJO has given an estimated 830 concerts to date.

The orchestra has worked with prominent members of the Swiss scene (e.g. George Gruntz, Franco Ambrosetti, Joe Haider, Lisette Spinnler, Trudi Strebi, Steff la Cheffe, Christoph Grab) and international stars such as Anat Cohen, Joshua Redman, Joey DeFrancesco, Paquito D’Rivera, Peter Erskine, Roberta Gambarini, Jeff Hamilton, Jamie Cullum and many others.

In 2010, the SJO was awarded the Grand Culture Prize of the Burgergemeinde Bern for its achievements. Since 2020, the SJO has been on the list of regionally important cultural institutions in the Bern-Mittelland region.

The Swiss Jazz Award is presented to the SJO for its outstanding commitment to the cultivation and renewal of the jazz tradition and its wide-ranging collaborations with innovative Jazz artists associated with the spectacular orchestras of the swing era.

Established in 2007, the Swiss Jazz Award is presented as part of the JazzAscona Festival, which takes place this year from June 20 to 29. In recent years, artists such as Bruno Spoerri (2017), Franco Ambrosetti (2018), Othella Dallas (2019), Nolan Quinn (2022) and Christoph Grab (2023) have been honored.



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