2017’S BANDS

2016’s Edition

Wednesday, April 13th: evening

Three Wise Men featuring Scott Hamilton


The world renowned tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton will be opening this second edition of the Ascona Swing Festival. Scott is one of the few great musicians who has carried forward the tradition of the classic jazz tenor saxophone in the style of Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Zoot Sims and Don Byas while developing his own quite singular style. He’ll be joined by the celebrated Three Wise Men, one of the upand-coming European trios. Frank

Roberscheuten (reeds), Rossano Sportiello (p), Martin Breinschmid (d) and Scott Hamilton (ts).



Thursday, April 14th: lunch

All Good Things Come In Threes

with Hamilton (ts), Hildabrand (v) and Hopkins (p). This triple H American trio certainly fulfills this maxim.  And what better than to couple it with another unbeatable threefold       combination: food, wine and song.

Buon appetito!



Thursday, April 14th: evening

A Tribute to Doris and Jörg,

Piano Summit with Chris Hopkins, Bernd Lhotzky and Rossano Sportiello. For the last few decades Doris and Jörg Koran have organized piano events involving some of the finest pianists on the scene including these three virtuosos. Many a young pianist owes his start to this fine couple. A tribute long overdue!


Friday, April 15th: lunch

Swing, Brother, Swing

with Frank Roberscheuten (reeds), Chris Hopkins (as), Bernd Lhotzky (p), Martin Breinschmid (d), Shaunette Hildabrand (v). Get into full swing with this fabulous quintet as nobody takes this phrase more seriously than these “brothers.” Swing by!


Friday, April 15th: evening

Battle of the Small Bands

with Three Wise Men and Echoes Of Swing. In the tradition of the Savoy “Battle of the Big Bands”, these downsized formations will go head to head in a “cutting contest” worthy of this legendary Harlem hot spot. Stomp away, boys!



Saturday, April 16th: lunch

Rossano Sportiello Trio

with Rossano Sportiello (p), Henning Gailing (b), Oliver Mewes (d). Sophisticated elegance is the only way to describe this trio. These gentlemen display sensitivity and refinement, but above all flexibility and the uncanny ability to “finish each others phrases”. Don’t miss it.


Saturday, April 16th: evening

Martin Breinschmid and the Radio Kings

with Martin Breinschmid (v), Oliver Mewes (d), Henning Gailing (b), Bernd Lhotzky (p), Chris Hopkins (as), Frank Roberscheuten (reeds) Colin Dawson (tr), Shaunette Hildabrand (v). This live broadcast features the Austrian multi-instumentalist Martin Breinschmid. He and his royal players will demonstrate why radio was king. Tune in!


Sunday, April 17th: lunch

Hotel Ascona Modern Jazz Quartet

with Martin Breinschmid (v), Chris Hopkins (p), Henning Gailing (b), Oliver Mewes (d). The Ascona version of the Modern Jazz Quartet will give a vibrant performance reminicent of this jazz combo. A modern classic.


Sunday, April 17th: evening

Dixieland Now!


 with Colin Dawson (tr), Frank Roberscheuten (reeds), Bernd Lhotzky (p), Henning Gailing (b), Oliver Mewes (d). Be it a request or order,     it’s certainly  one you shouldn’t refuse, so join in for the final session. Blow ‘em down, boys!


Getting Together

Two of Europe’s best horn players host this lunch affair. Colin Dawson and Frank Roberscheuten have been sharing the stage for over 30 years, including a concert at the famous North Sea Jazz Festival in 1986. A front line comprised of trumpet and saxophone is continuously repeated throughout jazz history. Roy Eldridge and

Coleman Hawkins, Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan or Miles Davis and John Coltrane exemplify a few of the well-known twosomes. Frank and Colin both grew up playing New Orleans Jazz, later becoming interested in other jazz styles. Their common musical background and years of partnership will cater to the most critical “jazz gourmand”.

Colin T. Dawson, UK, Trumpet

Frank Roberscheuten, NL, Saxophone

Bernd Lhotzky, G, Piano

Henning Gailing, G, Bass


Billie Holiday Remembered

The American singer Shaunette Hildabrand has been strongly influence by the music of Billie Holiday. Not only her repertoire and style, but the intensity of feeling carried through the texts are reminiscent of the late singer. 2015 is a special year as it marks the 100th birthday of this legendary jazz vocalist. All the musicians will join up to celebrate this occasion in the final festival program entitled

“The Life and Times of Lady Day”.

Shaunette Hildabrand, USA, Vocal

Colin T. Dawson, UK, Trumpet

Frank Roberscheuten, NL, Clarinet and Saxophone

Chris Hopkins, G, Alto Sax

Bernd Lhotzky, G, Piano

Henning Gailing, G, Bass

Oliver Mewes, G, Drums


Frank Roberscheuten Hiptett

Frank plays jazz standards in a free and  personal way, but with knowledge of and respect for this audible art form. And he surrounds himself with like-minded musicians.

Musical elements such as tone, technique, emotion and good taste are present in their performances. Clearly aware of the roots of jazz music, these musicians express themselves

in a unequalled way, making each tune a masterpiece. The music sounds fresh and alive – or better yet, hip. The Frank RoberscheutenHiptett opens this Swing Festival with a lineup

of today’s jazz greats.

Frank Roberscheuten, NL, Clarinet and Saxophone

Shaunette Hildabrand, USA, Vocal

Chris Hopkins, G, Piano

Henning Gailing, G, Bass

Oliver Mewes, G, Drums


The Art Of Jazz Piano

Since the origin of jazz, the piano served the function in most family living rooms that television and stereo do today. Fingers flying over the black and white keys reproduced the well-known songs from the Hit Parade. Families gathered around this instrument – listening, dreaming, singing, dancing. This didn’t change in the jazz bands and orchestras of the day. As the piano remained the center of the action, it’s wasn’t so surprising that many of the great bandleaders like Earl Hines, Count Basie, Duke Ellington or Teddy Wilson were pianists. Spread over the United States these jazz pioneers developed their own personal tonal language from the Blues, Ragtime and European models and, in short time, there arose a fascinating and wide variety of styles and expression.

Bernd Lhotzky and Chris Hopkins belong to the few international pianists today who have passionately grappled with this rich heritage and have since developed their own individual musical language.

On that note Bernd and Chris salute the heroes of jazz piano in this unique tribute.

Chris Hopkins ,G, Piano

Bernd Lhotzky, G, Piano

Henning Gailing, G, Bass

Oliver Mewes, G, Drums

Nuova immagine3

Echoes Of Swing

Free from any museum nostalgia, the four musicians take their inspiration from the gigantic treasury of swinging jazz, while constantly searching for the hidden, the unexpected, the exquisite.

The Great American Song book and the immeasurable recordings of great Jazz pioneers form the humus for the creativity of the combo, with astonishing arrangements, virtuoso solos and expressive compositions of their own. Two horns, drums and piano. This unique, compact formation permits the greatest in harmony and flexibility and allows freedom for an angle, exact ensemble. The group thrives on a mixture of clever arrangements and interaction of improvised dialogue, performing for, and with one another

Colin T. Dawson, UK, Trumpet and Vocal

Chris Hopkins, G, Alto Saxophone

Bernd Lhotzky, G, Piano

Oliver Mewes, G, Drums




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