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Summertime blues at the Blue Balls Festival 2001

Tickets for B.B.King's performance are already sold out

(Keystone)

The annual Lucerne Blues Session opens this week, featuring luminaries such as B.B. King and Van Morrison. For nine days, the central Swiss city will echo with the sounds of blues, rock and soul.

Performances from the festival's two top acts are already sold out: the 76 year old blues veteran B.B. King, and the Irish blues singer, Van Morrison, hailed by many as the best white blues singer around, will appear on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 respectively.

Blues is obviously at the heart of the Festival, although there will also be plenty for fans of funk and rock.

The opening act of the Festival, on Friday 20, is the country-blues singer and guitarist Keb' Mo'. On Saturday 21, saxophone virtuosos Candy Dulfer and Maceo Parker will appear together on stage, while the soul musician Robert Cray will appear on Wednesday 25.

Willy DeVille, the ex-New York dandy who recently turned to New Orleans for inspiration, will perform from his passionate, melancholy repertoire on Sunday 22.

On Thursday 26 and Saturday 28, Popa Chubby and Jeff Healey will blast out blues-rock music. The German group, Orange Blue, who performed the title song of the film "Dinosaur", can be heard on Friday 27.

Open air blues

Asides from concerts at the Lucerne Congress Centre, there will also be many open air performances, staged in front of the centre, and in the Pavillion. Among the highlights are the Yugoslav artist, Ana Popovic, and the Swiss Claudia Bettinaglio, who performs music by Tom Waits.

Night owls should head for the Casino, bars, hotels and restaurants for the festival's late night and early morning jam sessions.

An exhibition of photographs of musicians from the sixties taken by Gered Manfred will be displayed ion the Congress Centre's terrace. Manfred was the only photographer to have taken pictures of Jimi Hendrix during his recording sessions, which can be seen alongside snaps of the Rolling Stones and Marianne Faithfull.

swissinfo with agencies


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