JazzAsocna is one of Switzerland's biggest jazz festivals, and it's proud to be the only such event outside the USA to be officially supported by the city of New Orleans. But how did it come into being, and what makes it so special?

  • The festival was founded in Lugano in 1975 under the name "Festa New Orleans" by Hannes Anrig, its director until 1984

  • In 1985 it was moved to Ascona, and as the years have gone by, it has become more and more established as the jazz mecca of Switzerland and Europe.

  • Ascona Tourism took over the running of the festival in 1993, appointing Nicolas Gilliet to the post of artistic director in 2003, a role he held until 2019. The Festa New Orleans was renamed "JazzAscona – New Orleans & Classic" in 2004. Following 30-plus years of jazz experience, the festival reached an agreement with the New Orleans authorities in 2015, which saw the birth of "The New Orleans Experience – Music & Food from Louisiana". The festival split off from Ascona Tourism in 2018 to become an autonomous entity.

Anyone who's not yet attended JazzAscona should definitely make an effort this summer: for ten days, Ascona experiences a warm, "southern state" wind blowing through its alleys, bringing good vibes and a wealth of great music. Thanks to the new partnership agreement between Ascona and the city of News Orleans, JazzAscona promises itself a kind of rebirth of the event.

  • The sun-drenched village, known for the positivity of its inhabitants, radiates even more energy and zest for life during the festival

  • Compared to previous editions, JazzAscona will no longer focus "only" on the lake promenade but will also include all the winding alleys and squares of the picturesque lakeside village. Around 50 musicians from New Orleans are expected to join artists from Ticino to enliven the bars, restaurants, squares and streets of Ascona for ten days with over 350 free concerts and shows and good mood.

  • The lakeside promenade and the village, decorated with a thousand lights, are a sea of happy souls carried away by the music, dancing, laughing or simply enjoying the relaxed ambience over a drink.

A touch of New Orleans in Ascona: We're not on the Mississippi, but if everywhere sounds like New Orleans, then we want to taste New Orleans, too, including classic examples of Louisiana's lip-smacking cuisine. Louisiana has rhythm in its blood, and its cooking is just as vibrant: the dishes benefit from the same creative passion as the music. Try Creole specialities on the picturesque lakeside in Ascona. The colourful event is rounded off by typical games from New Orleans. Join in, who knows, maybe with some luck a little surprise awaits you.

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