Traveler often tend to know far away places better than their home territory. Flying far away is more exciting than hiking the own backyard. But normally there is tons of great stuff right “around the house” and that is why I wanted to understand what development Jazz took in Switzerland.

When digging into the story of Jazz in Switzerland, it became pretty quickly clear that the Swiss have not invented Jazz and Mountains, Chocolate and…Jazz explains the origins of Jazz in Switzerland. When Berlin was Europe’s “Swing Capital” and a Swiss its King shows how two early Swiss Jazz orchestras, the Lanigiros and Teddy Stauffer, became internationally successful before WWII. Yes, we like amateurs here goes back to the golden age of Swiss amateur Jazz between 1950 and the late 1960ies.

Besides following the historical development of Jazz in Switzerland, I want also to know the most influential Jazz musicians of this country a bit better. George Gruntz was and is probably the most important one of them and Franco Ambrosetti called him an “older brother”. When it comes to Free Jazz, Irène Schweizer certainly is one of the leading musicians in Europe. Bruno Spörri and Hans Kennel on the other hand started out making music together, but eventually both found their individual style.

Mathias Rüegg went to Austria to form one of the leading European ensembles of the modern creative Jazz, the Vienna Art Orchestra.

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