Estival Jazz kicks off summer in southern Switzerland

For almost 40 years now, “Estival”, the Ticino jazz festival, has been considered as one of the world’s most high-profile festivals of its kind and the most important free music event in Europe.

Since its inception – in 1979 – Estival Jazz has been attended by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, Franco Ambrosetti, Chick Corea and Ray Charles.

The name “Estival” is a combination of two words: “estate” (Italian for summer) and “festival”. In fact, every year Estival Jazz marks the start of summer in southern Switzerland: for a few days, our small canton is transformed into an international crossroads of unmissable concerts and performances that fill the squares of Mendrisio and Lugano. The unique scenery of one of the best-loved Swiss lakes provides a fitting backdrop.

Besides jazz music and its established artists, the Estival stage also hosts musicians belonging to the category of what is known as “World Music“ – an exotic musical genre of ethnic and pop music elements. According to the organizers, “the presence of these musicians provides dual value: besides enriching the musical knowledge scene, it also helps to raise awareness about the most serious problems affecting their people, their societies”.

This year’s program extends over five evenings between 1 and 9 July and, as always, the event will host international stars and emerging talents from around the world.


Photo credits: Andrea Branca, Marco D’Anna

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