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My personal highlights from Jazznojazz 2019 in Zürich

Jazznojazz Poster in Zürich

There is a party atmosphere in Stall 6 on this cold autumn night: yes, it's Friday, and the Brand New Heavies are in town for the annual Jazznojazz Festival.

The Brand New Heavies at Jazznojazz 2019

The bar does brisk business as revelers in Hawaiian shirts put their hands in the air to the Acid Jazz stalwarts. The band is in town to promote their new album TBNH, but they drop plenty of classics into the mix to get the crowd going.

New lead singer Angela Ricci fits in seamlessly with the old guard, who have been playing and touring together for nearly 35 years.

Jazznojazz - Brand New Heavies

Tony Allen at Jazznojazz 2019

But taking to the stage across the Gesserallee is a musician with an even longer record of service: Tony Allen. For over fifty years, Allen has been known for his Afrobeat drumming.

Tonight, he is at the helm of his jazz outfit, The Source. It is a flawless show which takes the crowd on an intense journey. It is a hip-swinging rather than a foot-tapping affair, but it's as close to traditional jazz as the evening gets.

Jazznojazz - Tony Allen - The Source

The Comet Is Coming

By now, Morcheeba are taking to the main stage back in Stall 6. But trip-hop could not be farther from the minds of the young crowd gathering at El Lokal before The Comet Is Coming's Zürich debut.

The trio (known individually as King Shabaka, Danalogue and Betamax) bring this Jazznojazz Friday night to a rave-like frenzy. It is a breathless performance as Danalogue fires beats around the room.

Jazznojazz - Comet is coming - Danalogue
Jazznojazz - Comet is coming

And barefoot "King" Shabaka Hutchings matches his energy with his relentless sax scales.

Jazznojazz - Shabaka Hutchins

Those with an appetite for more retire to the bar for the Haggis Horns. For everyone else who has been on a musical odyssey, it's time to see what else the Zürich nightlife can throw at them.

It is past midnight, after all, there's a party mood, and the weekend's just begun.

More information about Jazznojazz (28.10. - 31.10.2020)


Luc Benyon is a British writer and communications specialist based in Zurich. He has an unhealthy appetite for design and advertising history.

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