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Renowned jazz band leader dies

Osterwald at the opening of his nightclub in Lucerne in 1968

(RDB)

One of Switzerland’s most successful jazz musicians and band leaders, Rolf “Hazy” Osterwald, has died at the age of 90.

Osterwald, who first learned the trumpet, marked the international swing and jazz music scene for 30 years with his legendary band which he founded in 1949.

He played with giants including Sidney Bechet and Charlie Parker in Paris, pioneered modern music entertainment in Europe and briefly toured the United States in the early 1950s.

His hits include Kriminal Tango and Konjunktur Cha-Cha.

Osterwald, who also played the piano, vibraphone and drums, was awarded a Swiss lifetime achievement award and his biography was turned into a feature film.

Osterwald also ran a chain of nightclubs.

He had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and was admitted to hospital earlier this year with a lung infection.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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