My New Orleans Legacy Band hit the road earlier this summer on a 10-day tour of Switzerland and Germany, June 19 - June 30. High points were jazz festivals in St. Gallen and Rapperswil, and of course the JazzAscona Festival on the beautiful shores of Lake Maggiore. I have been playing at Ascona off and on since 1989, and it is always a thrill to return to this charming lakeside town with its winding alleys and pastel-colored Italianate buildings set against the backdrop of Alpine hills. With five outdoor stages, Ascona was a great listening experence for us as well as a privileged venue for our own concerts. Standouts among the bands we heard were trumpeter/trombonist Wycliff Gordon's tribute to Louis Armstrong featuring the spectacular drumming of New Orleans's own Herlin Riley; Trombonist Dan Barnett's Australians; and Germany's Maryland Jazz Band featuring my old friend and fellow clarinetist John Defferary. My own band--Clive Wilson (tpt), Lars Edegran (pno), Ronell Johnson (trombone), Richard Moten (bass), Walter Harris (drums), and myself--was joined for the occasion by the soulful and dynamic London-based singer Denise Gordon. Also along on the trip was Rachel Johnson, Ronell's lovely bride of one year, who got her first taste of Europe on the tour and took these pictures. It all ended too soon, but we hope to do a repeat performance in 2013. It's a great way to beat the N.O. heat!
Lagniappe! Here are some video clips from our Ascona appearances: