For almost 40 years now, “Estival”, the Ticino jazz festival, has been considered as one of the world’s most high-profile festivals of its kind and the most important free music event in Europe.
Since its inception – in 1979 – Estival Jazz has been attended by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Franco Ambrosetti, Chick Corea and Ray Charles.
The name “Estival” is a combination of two words: “estate” (Italian for summer) and “festival”. In fact, every year Estival Jazz marks the start of summer in southern Switzerland: for a few days, our small canton is transformed into an international crossroads of unmissable concerts and performances that fill the squares of Mendrisio and Lugano. The unique scenery of one of the best-loved Swiss lakes provides a fitting backdrop.
Besides jazz music and its established artists, the Estival stage also hosts musicians belonging to the category of what is known as “World Music“ – an exotic musical genre of ethnic and pop music elements. According to the organizers, “the presence of these musicians provides dual value: besides enriching the musical knowledge scene, it also helps to raise awareness about the most serious problems affecting their people, their societies”.
This year’s program extends over five evenings between 1 and 9 July and, as always, the event will host international stars and emerging talents from around the world.
The full program is shown below.
Estival Jazz 2016 program
All concerts are free of charge.
1 July 2016 Mendrisio, Piazzale alla valle, starts 20.30
Balkan Lovers & Marko Marković
Genres: Jazz, Funky, Ska
Musicians: Dušan Stojadinović (voc, perc, ethnic instr), Goran Stojadinovic (voc, accordion), Aleksandar Stojim (g), Jovan Jovanović (b), Boban Stanišić (dr), Ivan Aleksijević (keys)
Guest star: Marko Marković (tp)
Guests: Mattia Luraschi (indian tabla), Fidel Arenas Britto (voc)
Neri per caso
Genres: A cappella music, Pop
Musicians: Massimo de Divitiis, Domenico Pablo Caravano, Gonzalo Caravano, Ciro Caravano, Mario Crescenzo, Daniele Blaquier (all voc)
Pat Thomas & Kwashibu Area Band
Genres: Highlife, Afrobeat
Musicians: Pat Thomas (voc), Kwame Yeboah (g, keys), Ben Abarbanel-Wolff (s), Eric Owusu (perc), Emmanuel Ofri (b), Emmanuel Ware (g), Prince Larbi (dr), Philip Sindy (tp)
2 July 2016, Mendrisio, Piazzale alla valle, starts 20.30
Genre: Ethnic Jazz
Musicians: Matteo Finali (g), Fabio Buonarota (tp), Mirko Roccato (s), Alessandro Ponti (Hammond), Gabriele Pezzoli (keys), Francesca Morandi (b), Dario Milan (dr), Silvano de Tomaso (perc)
Genre: Jazz Fusion
Musicians: Mike Manieri (vib), Eliane Elias (p), Donny McCaslin (s), Marc Johnson (b), Billy Kilson (dr)
Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra
Genres: Free Jazz, Bebop
7 July 2016, Lugano, Piazza della Riforma, starts 20.30
Avishai Cohen Trio
Genres: Jazz, Fusion
Musicians: Avishai Cohen (b, voc), Omri Mor (p), Daniel Dor (dr)
Genres: Soul, Jazz
Musicians: Lisa Simone (voc), Hervé Samb (g), Reggie Washington (b), Sonny Troupé (dr)
Musicians: Nik West (b, voc), Nichelle Koto (b, voc), Chris Turner (keys), Hubie Wang (g), Ariel Melonie (g), RJ Norwood Jr (dr)
8 July 2016, Lugano, Piazza della Riforma, starts 20.30
Noa and the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana
Genres: Jazz, Rock
Musicians: Noa (voc), Orchestra della Svizzera italiana (Orchestra of Italian Switzerland), Domenico Sanfilippo (dir)
Genres: Pop, Soul
Genres: Reggae, Hip-hop, Funky
9 July 2016, Lugano, Piazza della Riforma, starts 20.30
Genre: Jazz, A cappella
Musicians: Claude McKnight, Mark Kibble, Joey Kibble, David Thoma, Alvin Chea, Khristian Bentley (all voc)
Mike Stern & Bill Evans Band
Genre: Jazz Fusion
Featuring Dennis Chambers & Darryl Jones
Musicians: Mike Stern (g), Bill Evans (s), Darryl Jones (b), Dennis Chambers (dr)
Musicians: Tony Momrelle’s Octet
Photo credits: Andrea Branca, Marco D’Anna