Ascona 2003: Bix the legend lives on

The music of legendary trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke will be the connecting thread of the 19th New Orleans Jazz Ascona. The most important classical and traditional jazz festival in Europe will take place from June 27 to July 6, 2003, with a series of special events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of this legendary jazz musician’s birth. The events will culminate on July 4th, with a concert featuring four of the most well known "bixian" cornet players: Tom Pletcher, Randy Reinhart, Dick Sudhalter, and Randy Sandke, accompanied on the occasion by top-notch musicians such as Bob Wilber on soprano saxophone, Kenny Davern on clarinet, and Andy Stein on violin.

Among the tributes organized by art director Karl Heinz Ern are a special evening devoted to Italo-American violin player Joe Venuti (July 1st), whose birth 100 years ago will also be celebrated, and a grand concert (on July 2nd) featuring the orchestra of Enrico Intra, who will remember the famous manager and conductor Paul Whiteman, in whose ensemble Bix played briefly towards the end of his career.

The Swiss festival, which takes place on the shores of Lake Maggiore, offers over 200 concerts and 400 hours of music during 10 days. During the past years, the event has successfully expanded its musical offerings, now covering 60-70 years of Afro-American music, ranging from the roots of jazz (ragtime, blues, gospel, etc.) to New Orleans jazz, Chicago jazz, and swing, up to be-bop and mainstream, including other descendants of jazz such as boogie-woogie, R&B, and rock ’n’ roll.

Among the musicians invited at Ascona 2003 with their bands are trumpeters Warren Vaché Jr. (in Ascona for the first time) and Leroy Jones, guitar player Marty Grosz, trombone player Dan Barrett, and blues singer Candye Kane.

In 2002 the festival reached a new record of attendance, with over 82 thousand people.

Official website:

For general festival information, hotel booking, and to request a detailed concert program (available at the end of April) please contact:

Ente Turistico Lago Maggiore.
Via Luini 3
6600 Locarno - Switzerland
Phone +41 91 791 00 91
Fax +41 91 785 19 41
mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Bix Beiderbecke
  • Event Date: June 27 - July 6, 2003
  • Subtitle: The Swiss festival celebrates the music of legendary trumpeter
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