Dixieland hits Zurich

Zurich is set to swing as the 12th International Dixie Festival gets underway. It runs from March 31 until April 16 at the Schutzenhaus Albisguetli. Bands from across Europe will bring their own personal take on Dixieland's traditional jazz roots.

This content was published on March 31, 2000 - 22:20

Zurich is set to swing as the 12th International Dixie Festival gets underway. It runs from March 31 until April 16 at the Schutzenhaus Albisguetli. A host of musicians, bands and singers who are performing at this year's festival are set to turn this small corner of the 'Little Big City' into a slice of good old New Orleans.

More than a dozen bands from across Europe will be gracing the stage, bringing with them their own personal take on Dixieland's traditional jazz roots.

Dixieland is a style of jazz, which started back in the city of New Orleans in the United States, but spread quickly to Europe in the more liberal artistic climate that followed the First World War.

Dixieland music was as shocking for the 1920s establishment as punk was for their equivalent in the 1970s, and as ground breaking as rock 'n' roll in the 1950s.

It was also a force for change, bringing together musicians from across the colour bar, and opening the way for some of the greatest African- American artistes to find a wider audience beyond their own communities.

Its popularity is well established here in Switzerland, with most of the bands performing actually from the country. Attracting thousands of festival-goers over the course of the two week event will be the likes of Swiss bands such as the Saints Jazz Band, the Sid Sucera Band and the Swiss Ragtimers, along with the self-styled 'boogie kings' Che and Rey.

Also on offer will be a range of international talent such as the Budapest Ragtime Band from Hungary and the Pasadena Roof Orchestra from the UK, along with other performers from Germany, France and Holland.

By Tom O'Brien.

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