[Dixielandjazz] RE: Ascona Festival

Mike Durham mikedurham_jazz at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 20 10:56:18 PST 2003

Maybe Ascona's success is due to the mix of bands, but I think in part it's 
due to the fact that Italian audiences for some reason don't have it in 
their heads that traditional jazz is old fashioned/out of date/corny or 
whatever (the same is true to a greater or lesser extent in Germany, France, 
Holland and Scandinavia, among other European places we have played). Maybe 
because no one has TOLD them not to like it! Last year, my band The West 
Jesmond Rhythm Kings played the Dixieland Festival of the Lakes in Northern 
Italy - much smaller than Ascona, but all traditional jazz. We played every 
evening in a different spot, little towns and villages around Lake Maggiore. 
All the people came out, from babes in arms to octogenerians: teenagers and 
middle-aged couples, right down to the policeman and the village priest. 
They all dug the music (and we play pretty uncompromising stuff, mainly 
Clarence Williams from the 1920's), stayed to the end and - which really 
surprised me - bought more CD's than I'd sell at most 'real' jazz festivals. 
Not sure what the moral is here.....except maybe we should all relocate to 
he Italian Lakes? Not a bad idea as the gloomy grey rain beats on the 
windowpane next to my desk......

Mike D.

>From: "Alberto Martino" <tmartino at terra.com.br>
>Reply-To: tmartino at terra.com.br
>To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>Subject: [Dixielandjazz] RE: Ascona Festival
>Date: Sat, 20 Dec 2003 05:43:09 -0200
>Dave Richoux remarked:
><<<If you don't believe Steve, go to http://www.jazzascona.com
>  and look at
>the list of bands and musicians - a great mix of well established OKOM
>bands that have been playing the US Festival circuits for years along
>with a whole bunch of bands you probably never heard of but have to be
>doing something right to play in this kind of a festival.
>As their program says: The concerts range from traditional New Orleans
>to Chicago-style jazz, from swing to mainstream, including ragtime,
>gospel, blues, and R&B.
>as for location, I sure wouldn't mind a gig in on the Swiss/Italian
>border region... beats Sacramento by a long shot!>>>
>Actually, I played with my former Swiss Band, the Bogalusa New Orleans
>Jazzband, for two times at this wonderful place and Fest, and was there
>1989 we where spotted by George H. Buck himself who invited us to record
>GHB-230 "Let's have a Good Time". I recommend to all  bandleaders to
>burn your asses in order to get playing sometime at this first prize
>Festival. Great bands, great location, great memories... Louis Nelson,
>Chester Zardis, Sammy Rimmington, great guys...  wow, this is OKOM!
>Tito Martino
>Sao Paulo Brazil
>Dixielandjazz mailing list
>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

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